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Auto Insurance Information
What is auto insurance?
Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy.
Most auto policies are for six months or a year. Your insurance company should notify you by mail when it's time to renew the policy and to pay your premium.
What are the six types of auto insurance?
The six types of auto insurance coverage generally include the following:
- Auto liability coverage—This may cover legal fees and third-party losses if you are responsible for an accident. It typically has two parts:
- Property damage coverage may provide payments for the property damage of others.
- Bodily injury coverage may pay for others’ medical expenses that arise as a result of an accident.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage—This may provide protection if you are in an accident with an individual who doesn’t have insurance or high enough coverage limits and is at fault. It may pay for your medical expenses or property damage.
- Collision coverage—This may provide coverage for your vehicle’s damages if you collide with another automobile or object (e.g., sign or fence), regardless of fault. It may pay for your repair or replacement costs.
- Comprehensive coverage—If a covered peril other than a collision damages your vehicle (e.g., hail, animal strike, theft or fire), this may provide repair or replacement costs.
- Medical payments coverage—This may provide medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, regardless of fault.
- Personal injury protection—Like medical payments coverage, personal injury protection (PIP) may help pay for medical bills for you and your passengers that arise from an accident. Additionally, PIP may pay for other expenses, such as lost income.
Most states have regulations for auto insurance requirements, but laws vary. For example, in Massachusetts, drivers must carry:
- $40,000 of bodily injury liability insurance with a $20,000 cap per person.
- $5000 of property damage liability insurance.
- $40,000 of uninsured motorist coverage with a $20,000 cap per person.
- $8000 of personal injury protection.
Your agent can discuss mandatory and optional coverages and how deductibles and limits may apply. Contact us for more information.
Why do you need auto insurance?
It's really all about protecting yourself financially.
- If you're in an accident or your car is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
- If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
- If you or your car is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you're worth.
Why is auto insurance important?
In addition to financial coverage, most states—including Massachusetts—have laws regarding auto insurance. Lenders may also have insurance stipulations before approving financing. Having the right policy can help ensure you are meeting these requirements.
Questions to ask your agent
Your Independent Agent is an advocate for finding auto insurance that meets your specific needs. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:
- How much can you afford to pay if you get in an accident? (To keep premiums low you may want to have a higher deductible and be willing to pay more for repairs.)
- What is the insurance company's level of service and ability to pay claims?
- What discounts are available? (Ask about good driver, multiple policy and student discounts.)
What's the procedure for filing and settling a claim? (Ask who to call and what happens after you file a claim.)
Thank you for your interest in Schaffner Insurance. We work with multiple A+ carriers to shop for the best coverage and best rates for your specific needs. Feel free to call us at 978-851-2727 or email your questions and an insurance professional will reply promptly.
Insuring: Tewksbury, Wilmington, Billerica, Chelmsford, Lowell, Andover and Throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire (Pelham, Windham, Derry, Londonderry and Salem) .