Understanding and purchasing auto insurance does not have to be complicated. Here are five common questions about auto insurance most drivers have.
Do I have to call the police after an accident?
If you are going to file a claim with your auto insurance, you will likely need to file a police report. If more than one driver was involved in the accident, a police report is proof of exactly what happened, if there were any injuries, and exactly how the accident occurred. Massachusetts requires that an accident report is filed if someone was injured or if there was more than $1,000 in property damage.
What happens if the accident only involves my car?
Many single-car accidents happen in bad weather conditions while trying to avoid hitting an animal, or other debris in the road. Others may happen due to distracted driving. Sometimes nothing could be done to avoid the accident, and so the driver may not feel that they are at fault. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, meaning that drivers must have auto insurance to cover their own injuries and damage rather than insuring to pay out to the other person. This means that regardless of who caused the incident, everyone is required to file a claim with their own auto insurance. So regardless of whether you feel you are at fault or not, you should file a claim with your insurance company.
How much can I expect to pay for auto insurance?
The average driver in the U.S. can expect to pay $1,548 a year for auto insurance. Since 2011, rates have increased 29.6% nationally. Seven states have seen small rate decreases since 2011. Massachusetts rates have been fairly stable over the past 10 years, with most drivers paying between $1,000 - $1,500 dollars per year.
What types of violations will increase my auto insurance the most?
While all violations should be avoided, some may affect your insurance premium more than others. DUIs are the most costly, adding up to nearly $2,000 to your premium. Speeding will add around $375 to your premium, and driving without a seatbelt may only add around $100.
What is Auto Gap Insurance?
It is not uncommon for people to owe more in loans than the car is worth. For example, your car’s Kelley Blue Book value may be $15,000 but your loan is for $21,000. This is a problem because if you are in an accident and your car is totaled, you are at a $6000 loss. Auto insurance coverage never exceeds the value of the car, so that’s where auto gap insurance comes in. Auto gap insurance will make up the difference between the car’s value and your loan amount. Oftentimes gap insurance can only be purchased within three years of buying a new car. Although insurers guidelines vary, a company may require you to be the original owner of the vehicle as well.
Zammito Insurance is always available to answer your questions regarding auto insurance as well as business, home, and renter's insurance. Give us a call at (781) 762-6732 to find out more.