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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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Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Philadelphia

There is a saying- it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Most of the times we make huge blunders which cost us heavily because we are not as well informed or updated about certain things that we should be. Matters of money are to be handled very carefully and with prior planning. To avoid major mistakes that might prove to be harmful in the end, one must be very well aware of a few things. Philadelphia DMV strictly recommends every car owners to have car insurance.

Car owners must have car insurance in Philadelphia for their own benefit as well as to abide by the law. Many residents have to plan and apply for car insurance. Before jumping into the decision of choosing a car insurance company, there are a few questions that one must understand. Here is a compilation of a few frequently asked questions regarding car insurances in Philadelphia, which have been answered as well:

Q1. – Largely, there are two kinds of coverage that one can opt for; collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. What is the difference between the two?

Ans. 1- Whenever you will approach a company for auto insurance in Philadelphia, your agent or the insurance company is bound to ask you as to which kind of the two coverage do you want. Since most of us novices are clueless regarding these two terms, here is an elaborate explanation.

•             Collision coverage– This coverage will be provided to you if, and only if you have an accident or collision with another vehicle. If you sign up for this insurance plan then in lieu of the premium given to the bank, when an accident happens the repair work expenses will be funded via the insurance plan. This particular type of coverage will come into play only when the car is damaged due to an accident.

•             Comprehensive coverage – Suppose due to a small spark in the engine your car catches fire or suppose it is subjected to theft! What would you do then? Your comprehensive car insurance in Philadelphia will look into these matters and will provide financial support in such cases.

Tip – Now that you understand fairly the basic difference between the two kinds of coverage, depending on your usage of the car you will have to decide whether to either go for one of the two or opt for both. Usually cars plying on a daily basis have both the comprehensive and collision coverage insurance.

Q2. – Supposedly, I have a few tickets to my name in my driving record. Will this directly influence the amount of premium that I will have to pay?

Ans. 1- This is indeed one of the many pertinent questions, which people ask about a lot. Whenever an application for insurance is submitted after going through the various auto insurance quotes in Philadelphia, the insurance company that you have selected will check with the Philadelphia DMV and will confirm your details and see to it whether they are in order or not. Usually it depends on the insurance company as to how much effect your driving record will have on your premium amount. It is but natural that drivers who have histories of rash driving are likely to encounter many more accidents on the road. Just for this reason, most of the insurance companies increase the premium amount by a certain percentage if there is a history of rash driving in the recent by gone years.

Q3. – Will being a member of the motor club provide me with the services of a rental car in cases of emergency?

Ans. – To understand the need of a rental car service one needs to understand first its necessity. Nothing is planned on the road and it might so happen that you meet with an accident! Your car is badly damaged and it has to be sent to repair the cost of which will be borne by the car insurance in Philadelphia. Now, your one and only car is off to servicing and you know that it will take few days before it can be used again, so what should you do? This is when your rental car services coverage comes into play. If you sign up for this coverage then when the time demands you will get a rental car at your disposal provided by your insurance company until your car comes back from servicing. When you are applying for auto insurance in Philadelphia, if you are a member of the motor club, then it will take care of the services like towing, providing batteries in case there is an emergency but it certainly does not guarantee a rental car at your disposal. Therefore, if you know that you will need a car during the interim period then do sign up for rental car coverage plan.

Q4. – I have not received a full coverage that I think I should have received after a serious accident to my car. Why is that so?

Ans. – This complain has been heard typically by many insurance agents and companies from their customers. When it comes to paying money to the client in case of an accident, what the insurance company does is that they pay to a certain actual value of cash. This value is determined by the market price of the car not at the time that it was bought but at the time just prior to the accident. Now, there are times when one client feels that they have not received a suitable amount, which the damaged car deserves. If anyone feels that the company providing car insurance in Philadelphia is by any chance not paying the due amount, one can always negotiate with them.

Therefore, now that you are armed with the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions; do plan carefully before you deal with any companies of auto insurance in Philadelphia.