Vehicle insurance (also known as car insurance, motor insurance, or auto insurance) is insurance for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide financial protection against physical damage or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise from incidents in a vehicle. Vehicle insurance may additionally offer financial protection against theft of the vehicle, and against damage to the vehicle sustained from events other than traffic collisions, such as keying, weather or natural disasters, and damage sustained by colliding with stationary objects. The specific terms of vehicle insurance vary with legal regulations in each region.
Most existing no-fault plans are limited in the sense that they usually permit the insured party to sue the party at fault for damages in excess of those covered by the plan and permit insuring companies to recover costs from each other according to decisions on liability. Total no-fault insurance, on the other hand, would not permit the insured to enter tort liability actions or the insurer to recover costs from another insurer.
For example, a 50-year-old woman with 30 years' driving experience and a squeaky clean licence is in a prime position for one of the cheapest insurance policies available. Her 18-year-old daughter on the other hand, recently unleashed onto the roads, will be considered a far higher risk for the insurer, consequently increasing the overall cost. Read our guide on getting cheap insurance for young drivers if this applies to you.
The Progressive Corporation launched Snapshot to give drivers a customized insurance rate based on recording how, how much, and when their car is driven. Snapshot is currently available in 46 states plus the District of Columbia. Because insurance is regulated at the state level, Snapshot is currently not available in Alaska, California, Hawaii, and North Carolina. Driving data is transmitted to the company using an on-board telematic device. The device connects to a car's OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD-II) port (all petrol automobiles in the USA built after 1996 have an OBD-II.) and transmits speed, time of day and number of miles the car is driven. Cars that are driven less often, in less-risky ways, and at less-risky times of day, can receive large discounts. Progressive has received patents on its methods and systems of implementing usage-based insurance and has licensed these methods and systems to other companies.
Those not exempted from obtaining insurance must obtain a certificate of insurance from their insurance provider, and display a portion of this (an insurance disc) on their vehicles' windscreen (if fitted). The certificate in full must be presented to a police station within ten days if requested by an officer. Proof of having insurance or an exemption must also be provided to pay for the motor tax.
Soon after the introduction of the Road Traffic Act in 1930, unexpected issues arose when motorists needed to drive a vehicle other than their own in genuine emergency circumstances. Volunteering to move a vehicle, for example, where another motorist had been taken ill or been involved in an accident, could lead to the "assisting" driver being prosecuted for no insurance if the other car's insurance did not cover use by any driver. To alleviate this loophole, an extension to UK Car Insurances was introduced allowing a Policyholder to personally drive any other motor car not belonging to him/her and not hired to him/her under a hire purchase or leasing agreement. This extension of cover, known as "Driving Other Cars" (where it is granted) usually applies to the Policyholder only. The cover provided is for Third Party Risks only and there is absolutely no cover for loss of, or damage to the vehicle being driven. This aspect of UK motor insurance is the only one that purports to cover the driving of a vehicle, not use.
In several countries insurance companies offer direct repair programs (DRP) so that their customers have easy access to a recommended car body repair shop. Some also offer one-stop shopping where a damaged car can get dropped off and an adjuster handles the claim, the car is fixed and often a replacement rental car is provided. When repairing the vehicle the car body repair shop is obliged to follow the instructions regarding the choice of original equipment manufacturer (OEM), original equipment supplier parts (OES), Matching Quality spare parts (MQ) and generic replacement parts. Both DRPs and non OEM parts help to keep costs down and keep insurance prices competitive. AIRC (International Car body repair Association) General Secretary Karel Bukholczer made clear that DRP's have had big impact on car body repair shops.
A compulsory car insurance scheme was first introduced in the United Kingdom with the Road Traffic Act 1930. This ensured that all vehicle owners and drivers had to be insured for their liability for injury or death to third parties whilst their vehicle was being used on a public road. Germany enacted similar legislation in 1939 called the "Act on the Implementation of Compulsory Insurance for Motor Vehicle Owners."
In Norway, the vehicle owner must provide the minimum of liability insurance for his/her vehicle(s) – of any kind. Otherwise, the vehicle is illegal to use. If a person drives a vehicle belonging to someone else, and has an accident, the insurance will cover for damage done. Note that the policy carrier can choose to limit the coverage to only apply for family members or person over a certain age.
Any car insurance comparison tool you look at should have your state’s minimum car insurance requirements pre-loaded into its options. States requiring PIP or medpay are generally referred to as “no-fault” states, meaning that when injuries occur, each driver in a crash makes a claim with their own insurance company to pay for them. Beyond the PIP or medpay limit, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance kicks in to cover the rest.