Skip to content

Auto Insurance

Gallery images

States mandate certain levels of automobile insurance as a way to protect the car owner, as well as the general public, against extreme financial loss in case of an accident. If car insurance was not mandatory and a person experienced a serious accident, the people in the other car would have to incur medical and personal expenses to cover any injuries or harm to property.

By having automobile insurance, the person with the insurance that caused the accident would not be liable for the total amount of damages defined in the insurance policy. The insured person would be liable only for their deductible, which is the amount they have to pay before the insurance company makes the remaining payments.

Minimum insurance requirements vary from state to state. You can find your state’s minimum coverage requirements by checking its vehicle registry website

Nearly every state requires car owners to carry the following auto liability coverage:

Gallery images

Bodily Injury Liability

This covers costs associated with injuries and death that you or another driver causes while driving your car.

 

Property Damage Liability

This coverage will reimburse others for damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building, or utility pole.

Additionally, many states require that you carry the following coverage:

  • Personal Injury Protection Provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers. It will also cover lost wages and other related expenses.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage Reimburses you when an accident is caused by an uninsured motorist—or in the case of a hit-and-run. 

When buying liability insurance, three numbers indicate coverage limits, in thousands of dollars...

For example, 50/100/25 The first number indicates the maximum bodily injury liability for one person injured in an accident. The second number is the maximum bodily injury liability for all injuries in an accident. And the third number is the maximum property damage liability in an accident.

Personal Bodily Injury Liability This part of the insurance policy provides coverage for any medical bills, pain and suffering, or other medically necessary expenses resulting from a car accident.
Maximum Allowable Amount This is the total amount of monies an insurance company will pay for medical expenses per accident.

Property Damage The total amount the auto insurance company will pay for damage to property per accident. This amount covers the damage to another person’s car and other property that was damaged in the accident. If the insured is found to be at fault for an accident, they would be responsible, through their insurance company, for the cost of damage repair.

{beginAccordion h3}

Additional Types of Coverage

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

According to an Insurance Research Council study, if someone is injured in an auto accident, the chances are about one in seven that the at-fault driver is uninsured. Uninsured motorist coverage will reimburse the policyholder or a designated driver if hit by an uninsured or a hit-and-run driver. Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for the other driver’s total loss. This coverage will also protect a policyholder who is hit while a pedestrian.

Collision

This coverage pays for damage to the policyholder’s car resulting from a collision with another car, object, or as a result of flipping over. It also covers damage caused by potholes. Even if the policyholder is at fault for an accident, collision coverage will reimburse them for the costs of repairing the car minus the deductible. If the policyholder is not at fault, the insurance company may try to recover the amount it paid from the other driver’s insurance company. If the company is successful, the policyholder will also be reimbursed for the deductible.

Comprehensive

This coverage reimburses for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object, such as fire, falling objects, missiles, explosions, earthquakes, windstorms, hail, flood, vandalism, and riots, or contact with animals such as birds or deer. Comprehensive insurance may also reimburse the policyholder if a windshield is cracked or shattered. States do not require collision or comprehensive coverage, but lenders may insist borrowers carry it until a car loan is paid off.

Towing and Rental Coverage

A vehicle is a combination of mechanical, electrical, and rubber parts. Things can go wrong at any time, and they are not always in your power to prevent. However, being prepared for those events is in your power if you add towing and rental coverage to your insurance. If you opt for this coverage, keep handy important phone numbers, so you have them ready should you ever need to use them.

Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP)   

GAP will help cover the difference between your primary insurance settlement and the balance you still owe on your loan if your vehicle is stolen or totaled in an accident. It is not intended to replace your automobile insurance. It does not provide bodily injury, property damage, liability, or collision insurance, and it does not comply with any financial responsibility or any other law mandating motor vehicle insurance. You are not obligated to purchase the GAP the dealership offers; shop around for GAP coverage

Evaluating Insurance Companies

Choosing the right coverage is just the first step. 

While price and coverage may be deciding factors when you purchase auto insurance, it’s worth considering the reputation and financial stability of prospective insurance providers as well. First, double-check that an insurer is licensed in your state by visiting the website of your state’s insurance division—where you can also review information about consumer complaints filed against insurance companies. In addition, you can check review websites and talk to friends about their experiences with insurers.

Finally, take a few minutes to make sure prospective insurers are in good financial standing. Financial rating agencies will provide this information. Five independent agencies—A.M. Best, Fitch, Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s—rate the financial strength of insurance companies. Each has its own rating scale, rating standards, own population of rated companies, and its own distribution of companies across its scale. Each agency uses numbers or plusses and minuses to indicate minor variations in rating from another rating class. 

{endAccordion}

Additional Learning Resources

Guide to Insurance Basics

The Consumer Action Center's Guide to Insurance Basics has more information on determining what kinds of coverage you may need and how much. 

Guide to Insurance Basics

Shopping for Insurance

Learn more about the different types of insurance and how to shop for plans with this interactive course from USSFCU's Best Life Learning Center.

Shopping for Insurance

Insurance Information Institute

How to save money on car insurance and other helpful information from Triple-I, one of the leading sources for unbiased insurance information.

   www.iii.org   

The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of third-party information.

Members' Voice Testimonials

I feel my money is safe, the service has always been top-notch and we've found it easy to use even though I probably haven't set foot in one of the branches in five years. Joining the credit union is one of the smartest things I've done.

USSFCU has been my first banking option for over 40 years - no fee atms - my grands are now members of the credit union and value their credit union membership also.

USSFCU staff continues to be the best and always has my best interest.

The USSFCU has been an important part of my financial situation and has provided outstanding service.

Every experience with USSFCU has been extremely good right from the start. Our main account with USSFCU is a HELOC with zero over prime rate, which is almost unheard of. The customer service has always been excellent. And when we asked for a temporary payment break to navigate and reorient professionally due to the sudden and temporary financial im...

I've always been treated very professionally and the person caring for my financial needs always listened to me and helped me in a way that was not stressful and beneficial to me.

USSFCU has never failed us in its' role of being the best bank ever. All the personnel are professional, friendly, efficient and have more than earned our trust, appreciation and admiration. We admire the way they are constantly evaluating, adapting and growing their services for the benefit of its' members. We are very grateful to have had this im...

Magnificent people, great help during the hard times.

I've been banking here for over 20 years it's the best customer service. Credit card interest rates don't gouge at USSFCU. It's a wonderful place to bank.

Very personable, solution based and takes an interest in your situation.

Provides excellent customer service and this is demonstrated by their great attention to detail. USSFCU provides excellent financial products and professional communication.

I joined in 1975 when I began my 41 year career in the U.S. Senate. It was a family and still is - one to be depended on in times of need and for advice.

The credit union provides relatively good services and the security updates to the system are noticeable.

All of my children and grandchildren have USSFCU accounts now. I really admire USSFCU and its staff completely, they have always looked out for my interests.

Outstanding online and mobile banking services. Professional, Courteous, knowledgeable responsive staff!

I am very satisfied to belong to this institution and whenever I need support it is good to know that I count on you.

This credit union is the best, I love the customer service and you can?t beat the interest rates. And I?m happy to be a member of this great credit union.

Great staff helping all the time. Just a very well run company always good service.

Always good service, especially when I telephone in. I have another credit union where, every time I call in, I have to wait a considerable amount of time before reaching a representative. When I worked on the Hill, it always was a pleasurable experience coming to the credit union office, whether to make a deposit or apply for a loan.

Customer service via the phone is very helpful and easy to accomplish requests.

Care about their clients and concerned about making sure they have the best rates and packages.

Read More testimonials.