Auto Insurance—A Quick Guide for First-Time Drivers

It’s time you started to think about car insurance, now that you’re behind the wheel. First-time drivers may find this prospect scary, but it need not be. Here are some things you need to keep in mind.

Optional Coverages

Comprehension and collision coverages are generally optional unless you financed or leased your car and your lender requires these coverage types until your loan is paid off.

Collision insurance covers damages to your car in case of a collision, whereas comprehensive insurance covers damages to your car in case of vandalism, theft, animal collisions, natural disasters, and weather conditions.

If you often commute in heavy traffic or live in a metropolitan area, it is a good idea to purchase these two types of Jacksonville car insurance even if you’re not required to do so. On the other hand, if you have an old car, these coverages may not pay off as you’ll end up paying more in way of premiums that you would simply repairing your vehicle.

Most first-time drivers have low-value or second-hand cars. If this is the case for you, you’re better off avoiding these coverages. Moreover, this might be a good reason to avoid purchasing a flashy new car in order to save money on both the purchase and the Jacksonville car insurance.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists

In both these cases, you may have to cover part or all of your expenses associated with an accident in case you are involved in one.

More specifically, uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re hit by a motorist with no coverage, whereas underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re hit by a motorist with insufficient limits to cover sustained damages.

Rates and Premiums

The most common considerations that Jacksonville auto insurance companies make when determining your insurance premiums include the following.

  • The type(s) and amount of coverage you need (and want).
  • Your motor vehicle record (MVR). This is a record of your driving history and car insurance companies use it to determine the risk of covering you. The information in MVRs include:
  • Any at-fault accidents you’ve been involved in.
  • Any traffic violations.
  • Current driver license status.
  • Your car. Factors include:
  • Make and model.
  • Risk of the car being vandalized or stolen.
  • Cost of repair.
  • Safety features installed on the car.
  • Your car’s overall safety rating.
  • Safety of your parking location.
  • Where you live.
  • How often you drive.

These are but a few of the many factors that Jacksonville auto insurance companies take into account.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is a medical coverage that takes care of your medical expenses resulting from an accident, whether it was your fault or not.

Personal injury insurance ensures your medical bills are taken care of without the dread of waiting for a long accident investigation to be completed. It is also known as no-fault insurance.

Other Coverages

Other types of insurance coverages include

  • Rental reimbursement coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Emergency roadside assistance coverage
  • Towing and labor coverage