Although the minimum amount of required car insurance coverage varies by state, it’s a good idea to have car insurance in case of an accident – regardless of who caused it.
Here are some key terms that will help you when making decisions about car insurance:
If you need to make an auto insurance claim because your car was damaged in an accident, you'll have to pay a predetermined amount before the insurance company will pay for repairs. This deductible is usually $500 or $1,000.
This is an additional service you can add to your car insurance policy. It covers the costs associated with problems like running out of gas, experiencing flat tires, locking keys in the car and requiring tow services.
If you get into an accident with another vehicle, the other party may need medical attention. If the accident damaged another person's vehicle, they'll need repair services too. In either case, liability insurance pays for those costs when the accident was your fault.
This type of insurance pays for damages to your vehicle caused by anything other than a collision with another vehicle. This includes vandalism, theft, fire and accidents caused by animals.
You'll need collision coverage to pay the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if you are in an accident with another car or if you hit an object.
This is a package of insurance products that include collision and comprehensive coverage. Purchasing the minimum amount of insurance required by state law is less expensive than full coverage; however, if you get a loan to pay for your automobile, keep in mind that full coverage is a requirement.
The lienholder or loss payee identified on your auto insurance policy is the bank or financial institution that lent you money to buy the car. Until you pay off the loan, they have a financial interest in the vehicle. If it is in an accident, the insurance policy will pay the lienholder.
Your choice of an auto insurance company is important. While many people simply choose the company that offers them the lowest rate, it's smart to read the fine print and understand the coverage.
Check local reviews of the company to see if they pay claims in a timely manner. This is also a great way to determine how other users feel about the company's customer service department and billing practices.
Major auto insurance companies like State Farm and Geico offer automobile insurance policies for international students. The insured person must have an international driver's license from their home country.
Some insurance companies consider an international student's past driving record in their home country. It's important to shop around and get quotes from several companies for the best combination of rates and service.
A quote is an amount you'll potentially pay for car insurance from a specific company. Quotes vary widely, so it's best to get several of them. To get a quote, you'll need to provide personal details like your address in the U.S. and your employment information.
Quotes are a free service provided by insurance companies. Be sure to ask each company if you qualify for any additional discounts. After choosing a company, you'll pay the insurance premium. Some companies allow their customers to pay monthly, while others require the full amount of a six-month premium upfront. Be sure to ask about discounts for attending driving classes in the United States.