Things to Know Before Buying Car Insurance for the First Time

by | Jan 19, 2022 | Auto

When most people think of insurance, they immediately cower at the potential costs and stresses associated with such. However, car insurance doesn’t need to be a stressor for you!

If you are looking for a car insurance agency that can help guide you through the insurance buying process, look no further than the agents at Thomson, Smith, and Leach! Our highly-trained and knowledgeable agents are ready to serve you and get you on the road safely!

Read also: Safety Tips for Driving at Night

If you are a first-time driver and are in need of car insurance, there are some facts and requirements that you need to learn. Let’s go through a few of them:

Car Insurance Basics and Types

Car insurance is a contract that you sign with an insurance company that will help protect you from financial loss in the case of an automobile accident.

Depending on the policy that you buy, it can protect you, your passengers, your property, and even others involved in the accident as well. It can also help cover expenses should other involved drivers not be insured.

Main Types of Car Insurance Coverage

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance protects you from losses that come from an auto accident in which you are at-fault. The losses that are covered are those of the secondary party/parties, not your own damages. Liability coverage is split into two sections: coverage of property and coverage for bodily injury.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance helps cover damages to your vehicle that occur due to events and/or situations other than auto accidents; i.e. fire, flood, explosions, falling debris, etc.

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance covers vehicular damage sustained by your vehicle during an auto accident, regardless of who is at-fault. This type of coverage is associated with some amount of a deductible.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance

As the name suggests, this type of coverage helps pay benefits to you if you are involved in an accident with another driver that is either uninsured or underinsured. This may also extend to hit-and-run accidents, but be sure to discuss that with your insurance agent first.

Medical Payments Insurance

Medical payments insurance covers any medical bills incurred due to an auto accident, regardless of who is at-fault. This can extend to funeral services but usually comes with a policy maximum.

Towing/Labor Insurance

Towing and labor insurance protects you from towing and/or labor costs when your car is disabled due to an auto accident. There may be stipulations to this policy, so be sure to discuss these with your agent, as well.

What Car Insurance Coverage is Necessary in Louisiana?

Each state has different mandatory insurance requirements for its drivers. For the state of Louisiana, each driver must carry liability insurance on their owned automobile. This coverage pays for damages in the event that you are responsible for an automobile accident.

There are individual policy limits, but legally, Louisiana drivers must have 15/30/25 liability limits. This covers $15,000 worth of single-person bodily damages, $30,000 worth of multi-person bodily damages, and $25,000 worth of damage to the other party’s vehicle or property that was damaged in the automobile accident.

If these requirements are not met, drivers risk severe penalties, such as fines and car impoundment. There are also penalties if a driver lets their policy expire or lapse for any time period.

What Affects My Car Insurance Rate?

There are several factors that affect the monthly cost of your car insurance, or premium. First, the type of vehicle that you drive/own can affect your premium. Higher-end, luxury, and/or sports cars inherently carry more risk. Therefore, the insurance premium will cost the driver more.

Secondly, one’s age and driving record can drastically affect their insurance premium. Historically, single males under the age of 25 and single females under the age of 21 carry a higher risk to the insurance company, so their policies will be more expensive.

However, there are ways that younger drivers can lower their premiums, depending on their policyholder. Some insurance companies provide a discount to their drivers for high-achieving students and those that complete defensive driving courses.

Lastly, the cost of an insurance policy directly correlates with the deductible associated with such. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium price, and vice versa.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Be sure when you are looking for the best car insurance policy to shop around with several car insurance agencies before making a decision. Different companies can offer wildly different policies and discounts for their drivers.

However, do not trust every person that claims to be able to “give you the best deal,” as it may not be as good of a deal as it seems. Be sure to clarify what the policy does and does not cover.

“Full coverage” can mean different things with different companies, so be sure to have all of the information before signing on the dotted line and driving away!

If you still have questions regarding car insurance, contact the well-qualified agents at your local car insurance agency, Thomson, Smith, and Leach! We can answer all of your questions, put your mind at ease, and get you on the road with a policy that you can feel safe with!