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Auto Insurance


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Auto Insurance Information

What is auto insurance?  (source: Connecticut Insurance Department)
Auto insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company which protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy. See our Insurance Glossary for a list of common terms.

Effective on January 1st 2018 Connecticut law requires:

  • $25,000 in coverage per person per accident for bodily injury liability*
  • $50,000 in coverage per accident for bodily injury liability*
  • $25,000 in coverage per accident for property damage liability*
  • Insurance companies to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of canceled policies
*(Drivers are strongly urged to consider higher limits).

Auto insurance provides liability, property and medical coverage and is comprised of six different kinds of coverage. Most states require you to buy some, but not all, of these coverages. If you're financing a car, your lender may also have requirements. Most auto policies are for six months or a year.

Liability coverage
pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
  • Bodily injury liability: protects you against the claims of others hurt in an accident for which you were at fault. Their claims may include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
  • Property damage liability: insurance pays for damage you cause to the property of others. This includes damages to vehicles and other property such as walls, fences and equipment.
Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Collision coverage: pays for physical damage to your car as the result of your auto colliding with an object. This coverage is not required by law, but may be required by a lending institution or leasing company.
  • Comprehensive coverage: pays for damage to your auto from almost all other causes, including fire, severe weather, vandalism, floods and theft.  It is not required by law.
Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.


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.
  • Not only is having insurance a prudent financial decision, many states require you to have at least some coverage.

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.)


What affects premiums? 
(source: Connecticut Insurance Department)

  • Type of vehicle - SUVs, convertibles and performance vehicles typically cost more to insure.
  • Where you live - areas prone to extreme weather, heavy traffic and risk of theft may have higher rates
  • Where you park - places like garages or locked parking lots decrease the likelihood that your car will be stolen
  • Safety and anti-theft devices on autos can reduce premiums 
  • Driving record, claims history and credit history
  • Deductible amount – the higher the deductible, the lower the premium

 How to save money on car insurance:

  • Drive safely. Accidents and violations increase rates.
  • Increase deductibles only if you can afford to pay the deductible in case of a loss.
  • Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage on a low value car that is not financed if you can afford to repair or replace the vehicle or do without it. If the car is financed, collision and comprehensive coverage is usually required by the bank and dropping the coverage could default the loan.
  • Consider insurance when buying high performance, luxury cars and SUVS, which have high premiums.
  • Buying safety devices such as anti-lock brakes and passive restraint systems both to protect you and your family can make you eligible for premium discounts.
  • For teenagers - get good grades and take driver training since both qualify for discounts.
  • For drivers over 62 - take an accident prevention course which qualifies for a discount.
  • Maintain a good credit history
  • Shop around. There are considerable differences in rates among companies.

Additional Information
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles- Requirements for Automobile Insurance
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles- Registration of Vehicles FAQ
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