Having car insurance means that you are not responsible for damages in the event of an accident. This is true with a few exceptions. Keep reading to learn more about the 20 times when you aren’t covered by personal auto insurance.
20 times you’re not covered by personal auto insurance
Auto insurance is important coverage and is mandated by law in most states. Although auto insurance covers most types of losses you may incur, certain situations are excluded from coverage. Here are some common car insurance exclusions:
- Racing: Normal car insurance does not cover injuries or damage during races, stunts or other passionate events. When attending such events, you may consider add-ons.
- Acts of God: Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural hazards may be excluded from your auto insurance coverage.
- Commercial use: If you use your car for commercial purposes, your personal automobile insurance policy will not cover it. You will need to purchase commercial auto insurance.
- Normal aging: If your car’s engine fails or the paint peels, you can’t sue your insurer for damages. The same goes for damage caused by mold or pests.
- Intentional damage: Intentional damage is common among motorists, especially new car owners. Your insurer won’t honor your claim if you deliberately damage your car by using it as a weapon, setting it on fire, or hitting it in rage.
- Family members: Assume you have liability coverage and cause a car accident. Although your liability covers damage you cause to others, your liability coverage does not protect you or your family members in the vehicle.
- Free Medical Payments: Medical payments cover death and bodily injury in your car. Medical expenses have the same exclusions as liability coverage.
- Employee injuries: Losses should be covered by workers’ compensation, not your personal auto insurance.
- If you live in your car: An insurance company may refuse to cover a claim involving a vehicle used as a home.
- Damage to your own car: Your liability insurance should not cover damage to your car. You would need collision or comprehensive coverage.
- Police repossession or seizure: Confiscation or repossession of your vehicle by the government excludes insurance coverage.
- Illegal act: If you have an accident while doing something illegal, your insurance may not cover you.
- Unauthorized car modifications: Notify your insurance company if you want to customize your vehicle. Your insurance company assumes that your car has standard equipment. So any changes you make will not be covered by a standard policy.
- Property Damage for Non-Owner Auto Insurance: Non-Owner Auto Insurance provides liability coverage for instances where you drive a vehicle that you don’t own. However, since there is no specific vehicle assigned, there is no comprehensive or collision coverage.
- Personal Effects: Personal effects damaged in an accident are unlikely to be covered. However, a homeowner’s or tenant’s policy can cover property.
- Disasters: Nuclear accidents, wars and other disasters are not covered by car insurance.
- Leaving the United States: Most US insurance coverage is valid only in the United States. Leaving the country may void your coverage. It is usually possible to add coverage for countries like Canada and Mexico. Always check with your insurer first.
- Named Driver Exclusion: Named Driver Exclusion removes specific drivers from your policy, rendering them uninsured. Your coverage normally covers permissive use, so if you lend someone your car, they are insured in the event of an accident. If a motorist is specifically excluded from your policy, coverage ceases. You can choose to exclude a driver for several reasons. First, removing drivers with bad driving records or violations (like DUIs) can save you money on your fare.
- Mechanical breakdown: This is covered by your car’s manufacturer’s warranty. Ask your dealer if you need a copy of the warranty to understand what is covered and for how long.
- A totaled vehicle if your car is leased: If you owe more on your car than it was worth when you totaled it, your auto insurance company won’t pay the difference to your lender. For this coverage, you will need to purchase gap insurance.
When do you need commercial auto insurance?
Whenever you use your car to operate a business, whether it’s a home-based business or your employer’s business. You will need to purchase commercial auto coverage. Here are some examples of when you will need to purchase commercial auto insurance.
- If you are a delivery driver such as a pizza delivery driver
- Ride-sharing services such as driving for Lyft or Uber
- If the vehicle is owned by a corporation or partnership, the employees use it.
- You perform services with your vehicle
- Transport of goods or people for a fee
- Towing a trailer or hauling heavy tools or equipment in your car
- Because of your job, you need higher liability limits
Common endorsements for personal auto insurance
Optional auto coverage, sometimes referred to as policy endorsements, is available to you although each type of coverage may not be required. Depending on the state in which you reside, certain types of coverage may be mandatory for your particular state.
Here are some examples of optional auto insurance:
- Injury Protection: Your state may or may not require personal injury protection coverage. It helps pay for medical expenses after an accident and can also cover lost wages.
- Medical payments: Your liability coverage only covers other people’s medical expenses. If you buy medical insurance, it will pay for medical care for you or a member of your family, regardless of who is responsible for an accident.
- Towing and labor: After an accident, towing and labor costs are covered. The services provided by towing companies vary depending on the insurance company.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist: This coverage varies by state. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage pays for your medical expenses and property damage. It’s a good cover to have, and it’s usually cheap.
- Gap coverage: Gap coverage can help pay off an auto loan if your automobile is stolen or destroyed in an accident. It pays the difference between what you owe and what your car is worth.
These are just a few examples of optional coverages. For a complete list of optional auto coverages, contact a local insurance agent or company representative.
How to save money on car insurance
When shopping for auto insurance, be sure to take advantage of available discounts to get the best deals. If you have both home and auto insurance, you may qualify for a discount if you combine the two policies. You can also benefit from the following discounts:
- Good driver: As a good driver, you could be eligible for a 10% to 30% discount on your vehicle insurance premiums.
- Discounts for good grades: Many insurance companies offer discounts to students with a grade point average of 3.0 or B or higher. A 10% discount for being a good student is standard.
- Low Mileage Discount: A low mileage discount may be available if you only drive a few miles per day to work or less than 7,500 miles per year.
- Security System Discount: A security system or VIN engraving can save you up to 15% on your auto insurance premium if installed in your vehicle.
Plus, you can save money by comparing your coverage options and selecting a higher deductible for comprehensive auto insurance (comprehensive and collision). Raising your car insurance deductibles, for example, could save you at least 10% on your car insurance premium.
To determine if you qualify for auto insurance discounts, contact your insurance provider. To ensure you always get the best auto insurance rates, be sure to shop around for auto insurance to compare prices and coverage options.
Compare car insurance
You should do your research and look for the best value for car insurance. Compare different types of coverage and think about the cost of each type of coverage. The goal is to get the best coverage for the least amount of money. Benzinga has compiled a list of the best car insurance companies so you can find the best car insurance deal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an auto insurance score?
Your auto insurance score tells insurers how likely you are to make a claim. Several factors, including payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit, are used by the insurer to determine your auto insurance rate.
How can I get cheaper auto insurance with bad credit?
Auto insurance is quite expensive. Car insurance prices are higher for high-risk drivers with fines and bad credit. Consider taking a safe driving course and improving your credit rating. In no time, you’ll be eligible for lower auto insurance premiums.