Understanding Your Auto Insurance
Most of us experience significant life changes like marriages, children, accidents, etc. However, did you know that some life changes can affect your auto insurance? This guide lays out the common situations that can play a role in your auto insurance premium.
Who is Covered Under Your Auto Insurance Policy?
First, it’s important to understand who exactly is covered under your policy. To put it simply, your auto insurance policy covers anyone driving your insured car with your permission. It also covers you and your relatives living in your household when driving any private passenger car, as defined by the policy. Please note a relative is someone who lives in your household and is related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, including a ward or foster child, and who does not own their own car.
Here’s an example: if your teenager is getting a driving permit and taking driver's education, that person is covered under your policy. However, if your teenager owns their own motor vehicle, they are no longer covered by your policy while driving any vehicle. Whenever they drive a vehicle other than yours or theirs, they may be covered by the policy on the car that they own or the car that they are driving.
A couple things to note:
- If you change your name or address, you’ll need to notify your agent. It's important that your agent has your correct name and address so all policy information is accurate and up to date.
- If you get married or divorced, it will likely affect your premium. Contact your agent to make sure your auto insurance is updated.
Scenarios That May Cause Your Rate to Increase
An accident, traffic ticket or other damage to your car may affect your auto premium or insurability. Here are some examples of incidents that may be a factor in your premium.
You get a ticket. Depending on what type of ticket you get, your auto insurance premium may go up, or you may be placed into a higher risk category or with a higher risk auto insurance company. For example, an Operating While Intoxicated ticket will have a much more serious effect on your insurance than a “failure to signal” ticket.
You get into an accident. Depending on the number and types of accidents you have, your insurance premium may go up, or you may be placed into a higher risk category or with a higher risk auto insurance company.
You are arrested for driving under the influence. If you're arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be placed into a higher risk category or with a higher risk auto insurance company, which will likely raise your rates.