Additional Car Insurance Options Worth Buying

September 24, 2012

Extra Coverage Worth PurchasingMost drivers know what the basic coverage choices are that are needed for a car insurance policy. Legally required minimum coverage for liability and accident benefits form a solid base for a good insurance policy and from there each driver can personalize the options that suit their needs. Most drivers will choose to add comprehensive and collision coverage for their vehicle, but there are other options that could be worth buying. These options could help save money, and protect the drivers against hassles in the event of a car accident.

Accident Forgiveness

After the initial shock of facing an accident and dealing with the claim process, you should consider the long-lasting impact of that accident on your car insurance premiums. If you were found at fault, then you can look forward to seeing an increase on your car insurance premiums that will likely last for six years.

One option to consider when you are shopping around for car insurance quotes that can protect you from that increase, at least on your first accident, is accident forgiveness. This option ensures that, with some exceptions, your insurance company will “forgive” your first at-fault accident and not raise your rates as a result. Since the cost of paying for that accident over the next three years is likely a lot higher than the cost of purchasing this coverage, check with your insurance professional to see if this coverage is available through your company.

Loss of Use

What would you do if you were in an accident and your car needed serious repairs? If you don’t have an extra vehicle and depend on your car to get around, you will need to get a rental car. You may receive a free loaner vehicle from a repair shop, but there are no guarantees that this will be offered. Instead, consider purchasing loss of use coverage.

As long as the repairs needed for your car are in connection with a covered loss, this option will pay for your rental car for the duration of the repairs on your vehicle. This is an optional coverage that is well worth adding to your policy, as the cost of a rental car can really add up, while the coverage itself carries only a small additional premium.

Waiver of Depreciation

When a brand new car leaves the lot with its proud new owner behind the wheel, it almost immediately loses some value. The reason being that once you buy that car and drive it onto the street, it goes from “new” to “used” in an instant. This means that the car has started to depreciate, and some cars can take a pretty big hit according to traditional valuation methods within the first couple of years.

If you are involved in an accident, your car will be valued by the insurance company at a depreciated amount. That brand-new car that you purchased just a few months ago is not considered brand new by the insurance company, and you will be reimbursed only for the depreciated value. If you have financed or leased the vehicle, you are responsible for paying the amount of the loan or lease regardless of depreciation, thus leaving you with a gap. This can be avoided by purchasing waiver of depreciation coverage when you insure your new car.

This coverage ensures that if your new car is written off in an accident or theft early on in your ownership of it – usually within two years – you will be entitled to the brand-new value instead of the depreciated value. That means you can go buy another new car rather than heading for the used car lot for your replacement. It is clear that the waiver of depreciation option will give you more options in the event of an accident when the car is a total write off.

Rental Car Coverage

A lot of people think that they are automatically covered by their insurance policy when driving a rental car. However, this may not be true depending on the type of policy you purchased. If your policy doesn’t include rental car coverage, then you may be out of luck if there’s an accident in that rental.
Rental car coverage is an optional coverage that is well worth the purchase price if you rent cars regularly. It generally costs a lot less than buying the coverage offered by the rental car company, and is available whenever you decide to rent a car.

Roadside Assistance

Some people may not be aware, but most insurance companies offer roadside assistance for a very small additional premium, giving you the peace of mind of knowing you are covered for towing, help with a flat tire or a dead battery, or even locking your keys in the car by accident.
Even if you have a membership with the CAA, you may still want to take a look at the coverage through the insurance company. It may offer farther towing distances and more coverage in general than the CAA plan, and it may actually cost you less than the yearly premium for the automobile club membership.

To make sure you get the most out of your insurance coverage, take the time to determine which optional coverage best suit your needs when obtaining insurance quotes. The options above are some of the most worthwhile options available. They’ll cost you a little more upfront, but can save you a lot of money in the long run.