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Beginner’s Guide in Buying Auto Insurance in Philadelphia

FreeAutoInsuranceQuotesInPhiladelphiacarinsuranceIn the state of Pennsylvania, it is compulsory for every driver and his car to be insured. If you are caught in the streets without the required proof of insurance, you will be heavily fined, or even arrested.

Let us discuss some of the things regarding auto insurance in Philadelphia.

•             Why do I need car insurance?

Auto insurance is a proof of financial responsibility that you require, to operate a car. It comes to play when there is an accident or a natural disaster like fire, flood, earthquake, etc. Your insurance will pay for the damages and medical expenses in case of such incidents.

•             What is the minimum coverage I need to have in Philadelphia?

The minimum liability needed by a Philadelphian driver is as follows:

Bodily injury – If you are found guilty for an accident, this coverage compensates for the damage and injuries you cause to the other party. It is worth $15000* for a person, and $30000* for an entire accident.

Property damage – This coverage is for the damages you have caused to the other party, if you are responsible for the accident. You need at least $5000* worth of this coverage.

Medical benefits- No matter who is at fault in an accident, this coverage pays for the first aid and medical procedures following an accident.

•             Are there other types of coverage I can go for, in addition to the minimum coverage?

Yes, there are a few more optional choices offered along with the minimum coverage. In fact, it is highly recommended, that you should opt for some of them, if you can. They are:

Medical – It covers the medical costs of you and the other riders of your car, if there is an accident.

Comprehensive and collision coverage – This one comes to play, when your car is damaged due to other reasons than traffic accidents, like theft and natural disasters. It comes with a deductible.

Uninsured/ Underinsured motorist coverage – If an accident caused by an uninsured or an underinsured driver injures you, or damages your car, then it covers the expenses resultant of the accident.

•             The minimum amount barely meets the basic needs. How much should I spend on auto insurance policy for each person?

The liability for bodily injury and property damage is necessary for all Pennsylvanian residents. Nevertheless, it is best, if you spend at least a sum of $100000 on each person, and a maximum of $300000* to cover for the treatments, repairs and loss of earnings resulting from an accident. For property damage, you should keep aside a minimum sum of $50000*.

•             What is a deductible, and how much of it should I pay?

In case of optional coverage schemes, you need to pay a portion of the amount, while the company pays the rest. The amount paid by you is called the deductible. It is always advisable to pay as much deductible as you can. By doing so, you end up paying for the minor mishaps, while the company pays for the larger ones. This decreases your premium rates by 10% to 30%.

•             Which is a more cost effective mode of paying my car insurance premium- annually, monthly, or semi-annually?

You will be surprised to know, that by paying your auto insurance bills annually, you save up on quite an amount. Although paying in monthly or semi-yearly installments may seem inexpensive and convenient, they come with hidden costs like interests and surcharges. So if you can, try to pay up your premium at one go, each year.

•             How can I reduce my auto insurance expenses?

Primarily, maintain a squeaky-clean driver’s profile. Safe or low-risk drivers get attractive discounts on Philadelphia car insurance. In addition, by submitting your premium annually, and paying higher deductible you can bring down your insurance costs. If paying a high insurance premium is the only thing bugging you, then go for an inexpensive, hardy, and low profile model of a car. Continuously keep yourself informed about the various offers and discounts available on car insurance schemes. Regularly compare the quotes of different companies. These few steps will slash your insurance price largely.

•             Does my venue of residence affect my auto insurance rates?

Yes. Rural and suburban areas have to pay less for auto insurance, while cities have to pay more, due to heavier traffic congestion. For instance, in Altoona, the average quote is about $1539*, but the average quote for car insurance in Philadelphia is $2313*. In addition, your locality, zip code, and street are taken into account, while deciding on the quote. If your neighborhood has a high crime rate in terms of car theft and vandalism, then you have to pay a higher insurance rate.

•             How to file an insurance claim?

After an accident, you need to make a claim as quickly as possible. Collect all the proof of accident, and the expenses it has led to. It includes medical treatment bills, police reports, repair bill, etc. Every time you have a conversation with an insurance agency representative, regarding your claim, follow it up with a letter, summarizing the proceedings of the conversation. Make sure you mention the date, and time of your conversation, and the name of the person you had spoken to. Keep a copy of this letter to yourself. If your company is slow in responding to your claim, then check if your scheme has interim car expenses included. If so, then rent a car. The insurer will try its best to cut down incurring expenses, by speeding things up. If everything else fails, visit an attorney.

•             What are the discounts I can avail while purchasing a car insurance policy?

You can at least reduce your premium by 10% to 20%. There are number of discount like the safe driver discount, if you have a clean driving record. If you are the student, having high grades can make you eligible for discounts. In addition, by installing safety gears like air bags, alarms, anti-lock brakes, you can bring down the amount. If you live at a short distance from your office, then too, you can get discounts on your auto insurance in Philadelphia.

It is always wise to do a thorough research before purchasing an auto insurance scheme. This will help you choose the one, which suits your requirements perfectly.

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