December 22, 2011

What To Know About State Auto Insurance Requirements When Buying Family Coverage

When buying a family car insurance plan, it's important to make sure to buy an appropriate amount of coverage. Many families want to save money and keep their coverage limits fairly low, sometimes using state auto insurance requirements as guidelines. This certainly limits the cost of a family car insurance policy, especially if the policy has higher-than-average deductibles. State-required coverage minimums are best for families who don't drive very often or who have one or more high-risk drivers, in which case a policy with more coverage might be far too expensive.

However, state auto insurance requirements are generally set very low and are not great numbers to use when deciding how much coverage to buy for a family with several drivers. This is especially true if one or more family members are teenagers. Teens should have higher-than-average liability coverage limits and lower-than-average deductibles, as they're much more likely to be involved in accidents than adults according to the statistics that car insurance companies use when setting rates. They're also much more likely to be at fault in these accidents, and as even a minor accident can quickly exceed many states' minimum requirements for liability coverage, it's a good idea to buy sufficient insurance that can keep teens financially protected in the event of an accident.

Most state auto insurance requirements focus on liability coverage, although this isn't always the case when states follow no-fault insurance systems. Some no-fault states like Florida require personal injury protection coverage and other types of coverage, although some amount of liability coverage tends to be required. In any case, states will rarely require drivers to carry every important type of coverage. A family car insurance policy should include important coverage types such as underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection. Most states don't require either of these coverage types. States also rarely require comprehensive and collision coverage, which are important for protecting the value of a family's vehicles from at-fault accidents, natural disasters, auto theft and other dangers.

Drivers can find out about their state auto insurance requirements by calling their local DMVs or by looking online. It's a good idea to know about state insurance limits, but families should avoid minimal coverage whenever possible. To keep rates down, families can consider raising deductibles, asking for discounts or comparing insurance rates online. These are much better options than lowering coverage limits, as high limits can be extremely helpful after an accident. As families have more drivers on the road, they've also got more drivers to protect, so buying adequate coverage limits is an essential part of choosing a policy.