Insurance Coverage and Savings

How can I reduce my car insurance premium?

In order to reduce your car insurance premium, consider paying a higher deductible on the collision coverage portion of your policy. Increasing your deductible from $500 to, for example, $1000 would reduce your premium.

How can I get a discount on my car insurance?

Some car insurance companies offer discounts for degrees, such as a master’s degree in education. Others may offer a discount simply for being a longtime customer, or for being a good driver. Get in touch with your car insurance provider to see what kinds of discounts they offer.

Is it a good idea to have my auto and homeowners’ insurance with the same carrier?

Yes, most insurance carriers will offer a discount by grouping the two coverages together.

What is one of the easiest ways to save on car insurance?

There is one surefire way to save on car insurance. If you own a car that is expensive to insure, trade it in.

What is “uninsured motorist” coverage? What is “underinsured motorist” coverage?

UM coverage protects you and your family in the event you or your family members are injured in a car wreck by an “uninsured motorist.” An uninsured motorist is defined as a driver who doesn’t carry his own coverage and also defined as a hit-and-run driver who flees the scene of an accident. Therefore, if the at fault driver is uninsured or leaves the scene, or in some cases a drunk driver, if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, your insurance company steps into the shoes of the at fault driver and you and your family can seek injury compensation up to the limits of the amount of coverage that you purchased.

UIM coverage protects you in the event the at fault driver did not carry enough insurance coverage. If the at fault driver had a minimal liability policy, in other words, a 15,000/$30,000 liability policy, and you and your family members all sustained injuries that exceeded $30,000 in value, you/your family members would be able to collect $30,000 in coverage from the at fault driver’s insurance policy ($15,000 maximum per person) and then you would be able to make a claim against your own insurance company for UIM benefits up to the amount that you purchased in UIM benefits.

What does “full tort” mean? What does “limited tort” mean?

This applies in car accident cases. Full tort coverage means that you and your family members have unlimited access to the court system to seek compensation for personal injuries from a car wreck. Limited tort means that for a lower premium, usually about $100-$200 less per year, you and your family members have a very limited access to the court system if you are claiming compensation for personal injuries following a car wreck. In real terms, if a person who has purchased limited tort coverage does not have debilitating and disabling injuries, for instance, broken bones requiring surgical repair, herniated disks in the spine requiring surgical repair, then they have no claim. There are very few exceptions to limited tort. Full tort coverage is not limiting at all. Full tort coverage is far and away the better coverage and should be the only choice when purchasing auto insurance in Pennsylvania.

If a friend borrows my car and is involved in an accident in Pennsylvania, does my insurance company pay for any damages?

Yes, unless your friend had his own insurance coverage, in which case his/her insurance coverage will be used. Also, your insurance company will not pay for any damages unless your friend had your permission to use your car.

Will my insurance rates increase after an accident?

Your insurance rates can only increase if you are “at fault” in a car accident case, or if you have a moving violation, like a speeding ticket. Making a medical claim for injuries from a car accident cannot raise your rates. This is because Pennsylvania, like many states, requires a “no fault” form of car insurance. This also means that your own insurance company pays your medical bills no matter who is at fault in an accident.

If I have full coverage on my car insurance policy, am I protected?