Getting into a collision with another car on the road is the last thing we want to think of when going outside. However, accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, regardless of how experienced the driver. There are a few reasons why Cincinnati residents need to think about getting auto insurance that will keep them and their cars safe whenever disaster strikes.
Why Bother With Auto Insurance?
Apart from the obvious, there are quite a few reasons to take your auto insurance seriously. One of the main reasons for taking car insurance coverage seriously is because automobile theft is a fairly common issue in Cincinnati. Secondly, around 15% of Ohio residents do not have adequate auto insurance. That means that you are at risk of getting hit by an uninsured driver. If you are hit by an uninsured driver your insurance would become that policy that fixes your car.
Another reason to care about your auto insurance coverage is that Cincinnati ranks 9th in a list of cities in Ohio that have the most expensive car insurance rates. In fact, car owners in Cincinnati pay, on average, 15% more in car insurance premiums as compared to car owners in other states, with annual car insurance rates in Cincinnati being around $1,300. With that in mind, the following is some information that should help you out when purchasing auto insurance coverage in Cincinnati.
Getting the Right Auto Insurance Policy
Cincinnati requires drivers to show proof of financial responsibility when driving a vehicle. This proof is usually in the form of an identification card. It is also important to note that the minimum auto insurance coverage that’s allowed in Cincinnati is $25,000 for bodily injury liability for each accident and $50,000 aggregate.
Needless to say, having the right auto insurance coverage covers you for any damages and gets you back on the road. Apart from providing you with protection against accidents, thefts and other unfavorable events, auto insurance also provides you with protection against any legal or medical expenses that may arise due to the accident. The appropriate auto insurance policy can get you the coverage you need to repair your car if it has been seriously damaged or totaled as the result of an accident.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverage
Even in the US, where auto insurance is not required by law, drivers need to be able to pay for the losses they cause to others in an accident. The safest way of doing that is by getting auto insurance coverage that can provide you with the protection you need. Besides, financing a car also usually requires you to get auto insurance coverage to pay for any damages to the vehicle. The following are the different types of auto insurance coverage that are offered to drivers in Cincinnati:
This is going to pay for any damages that you may cause if you are found at fault. The standard collision coverage that’s offered by auto insurance providers in Cincinnati will cover repairs up to the fair market value of the vehicle. It should also be noted that collision coverage also comes with an insurance deductible, which is basically the amount of money the vehicle owner has to pay before their auto insurance coverage kicks in to repair the car. The cost of the collision coverage is going to mainly depend on the amount of deductible that you’re willing to pay. For instance, the higher the deductible, the lower the cost of the collision coverage.
Other factors that can drive the cost of collision coverage are the age of the car or the type of vehicle such as an SUV versus a sedan our coupe.
Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
As the name implies, a comprehensive insurance coverage offers car owners in Cincinnati with more comprehensive coverage which means that vehicle owners also get protection against damage done to their cars that is not due to a collision. In other words, the comprehensive insurance coverage offers protection for a vehicle in a situation where it has been either vandalized or stolen or if the damage to the vehicle was brought about by one of the named perils, for instance, a flood, fire, hurricane or hail.
Comprehensive insurance also covers windshield damage, which is a common claim that vehicle owners need to file. Similar to the collision coverage, comprehensive insurance coverage is going to pay the fair market value of the vehicle minus your deductible which you would need to pay. While this is not mandatory, you will need to get comprehensive insurance coverage if you have financed your vehicle.
Apart from these two insurance coverage options, auto insurance policies include a variety of coverages to make a policy complete:
- Bodily Injury Coverage — This insurance coverage is going to pay for the costs of any injuries of other people who were involved in the accident. This stems from your negligence that caused the accident.
- Property Damage Coverage — If you are found to be at fault for the accident, then the property damage insurance policy is going to provide you with coverage for any damage to property that is brought about as a result of the accident you were involved in.
- Personal Injury Protection —This type of protection is also called ‘PIP’. Personal Injury Protection is offered to vehicle owners to provide coverage for all medical expenses, loss of income due to a disability caused after the accident and the loss of essential services. This is one of the go-to options when it comes to auto insurance coverage in the US, mainly because of the loss of income coverage that will mean policyholders who are disabled and unable to work after the car accident will get compensated for that loss of income. While it isn’t a coverage afforded to policyholders in Ohio, it is important to understand this coverage with your potential to drive in a state such as Kentucky.
- Medical Payments Coverage —If you are in a severe car accident, chances are you will have to go to the hospital. Regardless of whose fault the car accident is, medical payments coverage will pay for the medical expenses of injuries sustained during a car accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage — The uninsured motorist insurance coverage is going to provide you with coverage for any damages that may be caused as a result of a driver that is negligent and who doesn’t have a valid insurance policy.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage — Underinsured Motorist Coverage offers vehicle owners with coverage for the damages that are caused by the driver who is responsible for the accident, but due to liability limits, does not have enough coverage to adequately cover all expenses of the accident.
Riders and Endorsements
Riders and endorsements are basically add-ons that vehicle owners can purchase to add to their auto insurance policy. The following are some of the most commonly used riders and endorsements in auto insurance policies:
Accident Forgiveness helps the policyholder avoid increases in the policy rate that usually occurs right after the first accident where the holder is found at fault. It is also common for some of the carriers to pass on the benefits to other drivers that are mentioned in the policy. This is one of the reasons why policyholders usually include accident forgiveness to include their teenage children. To make sure you get the coverage you will have to contact your auto insurance provider and get the details.
Travel Interruption Coverage
The trip interruption coverage helps policyholders cover any expenses or losses for a trip that was either canceled or delayed due to the accident. Other areas where the trip interruption coverage can be used is to provide coverage for theft, injuries, mechanical breakdowns and other events. Since the rules and regulations vary from one provider to another, it’s best to contact your agent to find out the details.
Rental Car Coverage
Rental care coverage or rental care reimbursement pays for the expenses of the car rental if you are unable to drive the car due to a covered loss, such as theft, vandalism or a collision with another vehicle. There are limits to this coverage so when shopping for coverage make sure you understand the limit per day as well as the number of days or aggregate amount.
Loan / GAP Coverage
The GAP coverage comes into play when a vehicle owner needs to pay the difference between what they own on the vehicle and the current cash value if the car is completely totaled after an accident. In other words, this coverage pays for the “gap” between the value of your vehicle and the unpaid balance of the vehicle’s lease or loan agreement.
Emergency Roadside Service
When it comes to emergency roadside service, the coverage will vary depending on the coverage provider. Normally, emergency roadside assistance includes simple tasks such as jump-starting a dead battery, changing a flat tire and vehicle towing. Ask your agent to find out exactly what is included in emergency roadside service such as the distance for towing.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance is going to provide you with coverage for a vehicle in case of any physical damage or liability coverage for situations that aren’t included in a personal auto policy. This type of insurance covers a variety of vehicles that are used for commercial purposes. So, why do you need commercial auto insurance? The answer is simple. If you are using a vehicle for tasks related to your occupation or for business purposes, then the commercial auto insurance policy can provide you with the coverage you need in an accident. You will have to apply for a commercial auto insurance policy if your vehicle is being used to deliver goods or to provide a service, whether it’s been driven by the vehicle owner or an employee.
The coverage provided by a commercial auto insurance policy includes liability, comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist coverage and medical payments.
Since there are eligibility criteria, limitations, and exclusions when it comes to both a personal auto insurance policy and a commercial auto insurance policy, its best to ask your insurance agent to guide you through the process of getting the best auto insurance in Cincinnati.
In an Accident? Here’s What to Do
When you find yourself in an accident, contact the police immediately, and make note of any injuries and car damage you can observe, on yourself and the other car driver. It is a good idea to take photos or make a video of the damage. It is also important to exchange insurance and vehicle information with the other driver.
While you may have to share your address and contact information with the police officer, it is important not to share any personal information, such as your address or phone number with the other driver. Once you have contacted your auto insurance provider, they will handle the rest.
Purchasing auto insurance is something all of us have done, and while on the surface it seems simple, you can see there are many nuances to getting the right coverage. Find an agent that will answer your questions and takes the time to explain the coverage that you are purchasing.