Car Insurance Explained For First time Car Buyers

If you're in the market for your very first car, you'll want to consider the cost of car insurance. Most states have a minimum car insurance requirement, and you must have at least that. Several types of insurance cover various damages for automobile accidents, theft, or natural disasters, so you'll also want to understand the available offerings and protect your vehicle accordingly. The Uebelhor & Sons GMC Vincennes team is here to help you by sharing information on car insurance for first-time car buyers.

What Are the Various Types of Car Insurance Coverage?

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Before you contact an automobile insurance agent, it's crucial to understand the types of car insurance coverage available. You can ask more in-depth questions regarding coverage and limits once you meet with an agent, but the basic components of car insurance include the following:

Liability Coverage

Two types of liability coverage are available: bodily injury and property damage. This coverage pays for damages suffered by others in a car accident where you're the at-fault driver. Bodily injury coverage pays for medical bills, treatments, or medical transport. Property damage insurance covers any damages to the other driver's vehicle or personal property. Liability coverage does not pay for any of your injuries or property damage.

Collision Coverage

If your vehicle or personal property is damaged in an accident, the repairs or replacement can be paid for by collision coverage. This coverage is usually optional and pays for damages from hitting another car or object. If your vehicle is totaled, collision coverage pays you the cash value of your vehicle. Collision coverage includes a deductible, selected by you, that reduces the amount of your claim because you agree to pay this amount out-of-pocket. If you have a lien on your vehicle, the lending institution may require that you carry collision insurance to protect their investment.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is optional and covers damage to your vehicle caused by natural disasters, theft, or vandalism. A falling object, hitting a deer, fire, and hail are just a few types of damage covered by comprehensive insurance. You also have a deductible for comprehensive that will reduce the amount of any claim by the agreed out-of-pocket amount. A lending institution may also require comprehensive coverage if you take out a lien on your vehicle.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps protect you from drivers who don't have any insurance or lack adequate coverage with the insurance they have. This coverage will pay for your damages and injuries if you're involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist. When the other driver is underinsured, this coverage will cover the balance between their insurance and actual expenses. Depending on your state, this coverage can be optional or required.

Additional optional insurance coverage includes personal injury, medical payments, rental reimbursement, and roadside assistance.

What Is the Minimum Requirement for Car Insurance Coverage in Indiana?

The Indiana Department of Transportation requires all drivers to have minimum insurance coverage to drive on state roads legally. Drivers can elect to reject this insurance coverage in writing. Minimum liability limits in Indiana are:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $25,000 per person with a cap of $50,000 per accident.
  • Underinsured motorist bodily injury: $50,000.
  • Property damage: $25,000.

While these are the minimum requirements, consider carrying higher limits for bodily injury and property damage. Today's vehicles run upwards of $25,000, and if your insurance limit doesn't cover all damages, you can be held liable for the remaining balance.

Shop Around for Car Insurance

Before purchasing a vehicle, you'll want to shop with various car insurance agents to get the best deal possible. Many factors are considered when determining your car insurance rate, including age, gender, marital status, education, occupation, driving history, credit history, and address, plus the vehicle year, make, and model. Rates vary significantly between agents, so you must take the time to get quotes from several insurers. Factors to consider include:

  • Vehicle make and model: Providing an insurance agent with a couple of vehicles you're interested in will provide you with more accurate quotes to help you budget accordingly.
  • Select your coverage: Understand the state minimum requirements and whether your lending institution has any minimum requirements to ensure you get a quote for the insurance coverage needed.

You'll need to provide proof of insurance coverage to drive a used or new vehicle off the dealer's lot, so it's best to have your insurance agent and type of coverage selected before you start to shop.

What Information Is Needed for Car Insurance?

When you purchase a car insurance policy, you'll need specific personal information and documents available for any driver you want listed on the policy, including their name, phone number, and address. In addition, you'll need your driver's license number and vehicle identification number. If you've taken safe-driving classes, are a student with good grades, or qualify for any other discount, you'll want to bring proof. You'll also want to identify any equipment on your vehicle that may qualify you for additional discounts, such as safety or anti-theft features.

Car Insurance for First-Time Car Buyers

As a first-time car buyer, you may notice that your insurance rates are higher than other, more experienced drivers and car owners. That's because your driving and insurance history are considered when determining your rate. Drivers with less experience are more likely to file a car insurance claim. Once you have established a driving and insurance history, ask your agent to review your policy for a rate reduction.

Once you've selected a car insurance company, it's time to get into the new or used vehicle of your dreams at Uebelhor & Sons Buick GMC Vincennes. Find us at 626 Kimmell Road in Vincennes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, closing at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Complete our secure online form or call us at 812-291-1621 to get started. We have many new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles to fit your needs and budget.