Americans have a love affair with their cars, and because Americans own more cars per capita than any country in the world, a good place to begin examining insurance risks is to look at those associated with the ownership, maintenance, and use of our beloved cars. Unless you walk around with a loaded gun, an automobile is the most dangerous device you own. In one split second, driving a car can result in lawsuits, death, long-term disability, major medical expenses, and major property damage.

That’s why it’s so important to spend time setting up a solid car insurance program that will keep you from suffering heavy financial losses following a serious car accident.In this chapter, I show you how to create a solid car insurance program.

Americans have a love affair with their cars, and because Americans own more cars per capita than any country in the world, a good place to begin examining insurance risks is to look at those associated with the ownership, maintenance, and use of our beloved cars. Unless you walk around with a loaded gun, an automobile is the most dangerous device you own. In one split second, driving a car can result in lawsuits, death, long-term disability, major medical expenses, and major property damage.

That’s why it’s so important to spend time setting up a solid car insurance program that will keep you from suffering heavy financial losses following a serious car accident.In this chapter, East Coast Auto Insurance wants to show you how to create a solid car insurance program.

Protecting Against Lawsuits

Your personal automobile is the single largest possible source of catastrophic lawsuits and legal judgments against you for major injuries, death, and property damage. This site will fill you in on some specific strategies you can follow to protect yourself against this risk — first, by reducing your risk in the first place, and second, by buying liability coverage.

Reducing your lawsuit risks

You can reduce your risk of being sued by taking some non-insurance steps — steps that not only lower your risk but often lower your insurance costs as well:

  • Obey traffic laws, including the speed limit. People who speed have many more accidents. A California study indicated that, with one speeding ticket in the last two years, your probability of having an at-fault accident increased 95 percent. With two tickets, your probability increased 170 percent. If you received three speeding tickets, you were 254 percent more likely to have an accident. If you have four speeding tickets, you’re almost 300 percent more likely to have an accident. This should help you understand why insurance companies bump your rate up when you get speeding tickets.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Always use a designated driver. Period.
  • Perform regular safety maintenance on your vehicle. Have your brakes, tires, steering, and lights checked by a mechanic.
    When you’re shopping for a car, buy a vehicle that’s highly rated for low damageability and passenger safety. Check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Web site (www.iihs.org/ratings) for crash test results on various makes and models.
  • Opt for added safety features like air bags or antilock brakes. They cost more, but they’ll save you money on your insurance premium and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Always wear your seat belt and insist that your passengers do, too. Buy child safety seats and always use them. Look for a seat rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For tips on child safety seats, go to www.nhtsa.gov and click on the Child Safety Seats link.
  • Take a behind-the-wheel defensive driving class. Even if you don’t get a premium credit, you’ll be a better driver and have less chance of being involved in a serious accident — either one that is not your fault or one that you cause. And fewer accidents means better rates (and maybe longer lives).
  • Require your teenager to have at least 30 hours of practice behind the wheel on his permit under all sorts of driving conditions before allowing him to get a driver’s license. No one can ever develop the skills needed to be a safe driver in just a few hours of mandatory driver’s education.
    Allow your teen to drive based upon your determination of her ability to responsibly operate a car — regardless of when your state says she can legally drive. A teen who behaves immaturely and irresponsibly out of a vehicle usually behaves immaturely and irresponsibly in a vehicle.

Buying liability coverage

Liability insurance provides for your defense and pays legal judgments on your behalf. People who buy liability insurance frequently make two mistakes:

They buy far too little coverage. “How much is enough liability insurance?” you may be asking. It depends on who the victim is. It also depends on how suable you are. I call this your suability factor.

They buy inconsistent limits. For example, they have a $100,000 limit on their car, $300,000 on their home, and $50,000 on their boat. Suppose these are your limits and you injure someone seriously with your car. You have only $100,000 of coverage, yet had the same injury occurred at home, you would have $300,000 of coverage. See how illogical that is? Your only hope for enough coverage in this scenario is to drag the victim’s bleeding, unconscious body home, throw him down the stairs, and hope he doesn’t remember the car accident!

 

Affordable Car Insurance Quotes from East Coast Auto Insurance

East Coast Insurance is located in Deerfield Beach, Florida and has office throughout the country that specialize in auto, home, health, and general liability insurance. We are focused on becoming the first nationwide auto insurance broker that actually sells policies in all 50 states. All premiums are the same regardless if you buy online, from a local agent, or directly from the carrier. Our commission is paid to by the carrier and our service is free.

Customer Feedback

What a terrific company! East Coast Auto Insurance was able to get me coverage in spite of my SR-22 and helped me figure a way to pay for it that my budget allowed. They spent 3 hours with me going through various options.

I almost gave up till I found this insurance company! I was literally looking at the bus schedule when they called me to help me! Thanks so much Emily!

Tom Harris, Fort Walton Beach, Florida