car insurance Darien

Automobile Insurance

Connecticut Automobile Insurance


 

What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance is a contract you purchase, where by the insuring agency pays for some portion of property, liability and/or medical expenses incurred from some calamity occurring during use of your vehicle. What and whom is covered is determined by the type of policy you obtain.

 

What is the legal minimum coverage?

The minimum coverage required by law in Connecticut and most other states is liability insurance. Liability insurance covers the bodily harm and property damaged incurred by a third party for an accident which happened that you are deemed to be at fault.

 

What does car insurance cover?

The answer to this depends on the coverage you purchase. Here are a few standard options:

  • Liability coverage – insurance which covers just third-parties:
    • bodily injury liability for medical expenses related to injury or death
    • property liability for expenses related to damaged possessions such as vehicles, buildings, fences, mailboxes, pets, etc.
  • Collision coverage – coverage for damages to your automobile after your deductible is paid; if the vehicle is totaled, the insuring agency will pay an amount that is determined by the terms of the policy:
    • actual cash value which is an amount determined by the insurer (not the insured)
      stated value which allows the insurer to pay the least of either the repair costs, the actual cash value or the value which the insured provided at the time the policy was written
    • agreed value which is a dollar amount written into the policy that was agreed upon by the both the insurer and the insured
  • Comprehensive coverage – coverage for anything not covered by collision, such as theft, vandalism, weather damage or animal damage
  • Underinsured and uninsured coverage – insurance if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough to repair or replace your vehicle

 

Does my auto insurance policy cover every potential risk and cost?

Probably not. You need to talk to a trusted agent to see what you have and what you need. There are many additional coverage options you can choose from:

Medical payments coverage pays for the medical expenses and/or funeral costs for the driver and passengers regardless of who is determined to be at fault. Some of the payments that would be covered are ambulance fees, hospital and doctor visits, rehab and prosthetics.

Basic reparations benefits (BRP) also known as personal injury protection (PIP) includes medical cost which is the same coverage as medical payments coverage plus income cost and essential services cost. Income cost pays a portion of your weekly income (as per the terms of your policy) during the time that you are unable to work because of injuries. Essential services cost provides funds for certain tasks the injured is not able to perform or elsewhere because of the injuries sustained.

Rental insurance may or may not be needed depending on the type of coverage you have on your personal auto policy. If you choose to just maintain liability on your auto insurance and you need to rent a car, you will likely need to purchase rental insurance to protect the vehicle you’re driving. Maintaining comprehensive coverage may prevent the need for rental insurance if the driver is covered regardless of the vehicle. There are exceptions in which rental coverage should be obtained regardless of your personal policy such as renting a car for business purposes, traveling out of the country or if you have a high deductible.

Full glass coverage pays for any broken window on your vehicle without first requiring you to pay your deductible. If glass coverage is included in your base policy, it will likely make you pay for your deductible first, which may be more than the cost of replacing the window.

OEM parts are original equipment/parts from the manufacturer. In an accident that requires an insurance company to pay for repairs, the insurer is not required to pay for OEM parts unless otherwise stated as additional coverage. After-market parts (used or off-brand) are significantly cheaper for the insurance company and they are not likely to pay unless your policy requires it. This may be especially important to add to policies covering foreign or exotic cars – though any person who wishes to have only name brand parts should consider adding this coverage

Trip interruption and trip cancellation are coverage options available to travelers. Trip interruption coverage will reimburse you (based on the terms and limits of your policy) if your trip needs to be cut short. If you need to change your trip dates or plans because of illness or an injury that occur while on vacation, treacherous weather or emergency family situation at home, normally your flight, hotel and entertainment fees would not be refunded. With this coverage, you can receive some portion up to a full reimbursement. Trip cancellation is coverage for transportation, hotel and other fees that need to be canceled or rescheduled before your trip begins for covered situations. You may be reimbursed up to 100% depending on the terms of your policy.

Personal Property Coverage is part of liability coverage that pays for the personal property of others that is damaged in an accident deemed to be your fault. Your personal property that you bring in your car such as your phone, computer or EZ-Pass are not covered under any such auto policy, you may be able to claim these on your homeowners or rental policies.

Replacement Vehicle Coverage is a policy which pays to replace a vehicle that is lost or stolen. This policy pays the vehicle’s original price regardless of depreciation. Not all drivers or automobiles will qualify for replacement vehicle coverage – owners of high end, imported or exotic vehicles should consult their agent to see if this coverage can be added to their policy.

 

How does car insurance work when you get into an accident?

When you get into a car accident, you should exchange insurance information with the other parties involved and call the police. The police will document the scene and write an accident report. When you are safely at your destination, you can call and notify your insurance agent and submit a copy of the police report for their review. You should never admit fault, just provide the facts of the accident and the police and/or insurance agencies will determine who is at fault. Your agent will help you decide if a claim should be submitted for coverage and what your next steps will be.

 

Where you can buy this insurance, and how much it will cost?

Daigle & Travers is a great agency to buy insurance from because we work with over 25 different insurance carriers to see who will give you the best coverage for the best price. The cost will be determined by many factors, including:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Make and model
  • Age and condition of vehicle
  • Driving record of drivers
  • Age and sex of drivers
  • Where you live
  • Where the vehicle is stored
  • The size of your deductible
  • What kind of coverage you need
  • The number of payment installments
  • If the policy is bundled with others

 


 

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