Auto Insurance FAQ

Auto insurance blends several types of coverage into one policy. Typically, your policy will include some combination of comprehensive, collision, medical payments, liability and uninsured motorist coverage.

Q: So what kind of coverage do I need?

A: It depends on your specific situation. Liability and Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage pays for the damage you cause to others if your car is involved in an accident, and is required by state law. It also protects you from being wiped out financially if you are sued following an accident. The greater your assets, the more you stand to lose in a lawsuit. If you have substantial financial resources, you may need liability coverage that exceeds the coverage that you'll get from an auto insurance policy.

In that case, a Personal Umbrella can provide the extra liability protection you need. Additionally you should take into account the use of the vehicle. Sales people, families with young drivers and people of influence may want to look at higher levels of liability coverage to protect the additional exposure of their situation.

Collision covers damage to your car from an accident. We can help you decide whether or not to carry collision coverage by balancing the cost of collision insurance with the value of your car. It might not be worth paying $200.00 a year for collision insurance on a car that's worth only $1000.00. But if the car is worth $10,000 you probably want this coverage. If you have a loan on your vehicle your bank will likely require this coverage.

Comprehensive coverage pays for your car or the repair of your car if it is stolen, vandalized or damaged in some way other than in a collision. In Minnesota, collisions with animals such as deer, moose and bird are covered under the comprehensive section. Comprehensive is also where you will find coverage for glass breakage. Endorsements for full glass coverage with no deductible can be provided with minimal additional cost when you carry comprehensive coverage. Again, if you have a loan on your car your bank will likely require this coverage.

Medical Payments Coverage which is provided through the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) section of your policy has various options available to increase the medical limits available to you if you should be injured in an auto accident.

Keep in mind that Minnesota requires certain minimum levels of coverage. We'd be happy to talk with you about these and other factors.

Q: What factors can affect the costs of my auto insurance?

A: A number of factors can affect the cost of your automobile insurance, some of which you can control and some you cannot.

The type of car you drive, your driving record, your age, your marital status, your gender, credit score, the purpose the car serves, and where the car is garaged can all affect how much your automobile insurance will cost you. Statistics play a major role in determining automobile insurance rates, and statistics show that young drivers have the highest frequency of accidents. Thus young, unmarried males will have a higher auto premium, while married, middle-aged individuals will have preferred rates.

Q: What are some practical things I can do to lower my auto insurance rates?

A: There are a number of things you can do to lower the cost of your automobile insurance. The easiest thing to do is ask us to get quotes from several companies for you.

Another way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to look for any discounts for which you may qualify. For example, many insurers will offer you a discount if you insure multiple cars under the same policy. The following are just some of the major discounts that are available with some of the companies we represent:

  • Multi-car discount
  • Multi-policy discount - usually applies when you insure your home and auto with the same company
  • Good student discount
  • Senior driver accident prevention course completion
  • Safe driver discount (ticket & accident free)
  • Anti-theft discount

Another easy way to lower the cost of your automobile insurance is to increase the deductible. Simply raising your deductible from $250.00 to $500.00 can lower your premium sometimes by as much as ten percent.

Q: Suppose I lend my car to a friend, is he/she covered under my auto insurance policy?

A: Whenever you knowingly loan your car to a friend or an associate, he or she will be covered under your automobile insurance policy. In Minnesota the insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver, and if an accident should occur the payment of a claim could cause an increase in your premium, if it is deemed to be a chargeable accident.

Q: I have an older car whose current market value is very low. Do I really need to purchase auto insurance?

A: Minnesota insurance laws require drivers to have automobile liability insurance as well as PIP, or personal injury protection. These laws were enacted to ensure that victims of automobile accidents receive compensation when their losses are caused by the actions of another individual who was negligent. With older cars it can be cost effective to eliminate coverage for comprehensive and collision, as the value of the vehicle is minimal in relation to the cost of the coverage, but liability coverage is still required.

Q: What is the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage?

A: Collision is defined as losses you incur when your automobile collides with another car or object. For example, if you hit a car in a parking lot, the damages to your car will be paid under your collision coverage.

Comprehensive provides coverage for most other direct physical damage losses you could incur. Comprehensive is sometimes described as coverage for situations beyond your control. Weather related losses including hail as well as wild animal damage (deer hits), glass breakage and theft are all examples of comprehensive coverage.

Q: What should I consider when purchasing auto insurance?

A: There are a number of factors to consider when purchasing any product or service, and insurance is no different. Here is a checklist of things you should consider when purchasing automobile insurance.

  • Base your decision on value. This is more than simply the lowest price. You are paying for an intangible product and should seriously consider the integrity and potential for quality service from the agent and insurance company that you select. Future policy changes and claims require prompt, courteous and professional service. Independent agents, and the companies we represent, deliver excellent value.
  • Purchase the amount of liability coverage that makes sense to you. Analyze your particular situation relative to your financial and economical situation. Do you have perceived wealth? Do you have any young drivers? Do you own your own business? If you said yes to any of these questions you may want to consider higher levels of liability coverage to protect you against a large loss, which could jeopardize your lifelong earnings and asset accumulation.
  • You should decide which optional coverage you want. For example, do you want physical damage coverage or is the market value of your car too low to warrant purchasing it?
  • Once you have decided what you want in your automobile insurance policy, we can get quotes from the different companies we represent and discuss all of the options we have for your specific situation.

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607 Northwest 5th Street Grand Rapids, MN 55744
218-326-0563 -

Located in Grand Rapids Minnesota, situated in the middle of Minnesota's lakes and forests. In addition to personal insurance coverages which include life, auto, home, and recreational vehicle coverages, we also specialize in coverage for the timber industry.