What is Auto Insurance?
Owning and operating a vehicle comes with a certain amount of risk even for the safest drivers. Thousands of drivers across the country are in accidents every day and the vast majority of Maine residents will be involved in at least one accident at some point in time. Auto insurance doesn’t prevent accidents, but it helps protect drivers from the financial losses and liabilities that can follow.
Auto insurance policies are normally underwritten as package policies that combine multiple individual coverages together. In a robust auto policy, the multiple coverages weave together to create a web of protection against many possible risks.
Who in Maine Should Have Auto Insurance?
Maine residents who own a vehicle that’s taken on public roads are required to carry auto insurance that at least meets the state’s minimum requirements. Not having the legally mandated coverages in place leaves a driver exposed to risk and could result in legal consequences.
In many cases, drivers choose to purchase auto insurance that provides much more protection than what the state requires. The legal requirements offer only a basic level of protection and most drivers need or want more coverage. An insurance agent who specializes in this type of insurance can help drivers determine what amount of coverage makes sense for them.
What Coverages Are Included in Auto Policies?
There are many coverages that auto policies might include as standard protections or make available as optional ones. Some of these are mandated by the state while others aren’t.
Some of the state-mandated coverages include:
● Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which may cover injuries to people who aren’t in a driver’s vehicle
● Property Damage Liability Coverage, which may cover damage to others’ property
● Medical Payments Coverage, which may cover injuries to the driver and their passengers
● Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, which may cover accidents caused by improperly insured drivers. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is sometimes abbreviated as 'UM' coverage.
A few other coverages that drivers often consider are:
● Comprehensive Coverage, which may cover damage to the driver’s vehicle that occurs in a non-collision incident
● Collision Coverage, which may cover damage to the driver’s vehicle that occurs in a collision
● Gap Coverage, which may cover the difference between a vehicle's value and the outstanding balance on it if the vehicle is seriously damaged
● Rental Auto Reimbursement Coverage, which may cover a rental vehicle’s cost after an accident
Do Drivers Have to Carry Collision and Comprehensive Coverage?
State law generally doesn’t require collision coverage or comprehensive coverage, which are two distinct coverages that commonly get purchased together. Drivers who sign a lease or a loan are usually required to maintain both collision and comprehensive coverage for the duration of their lease or loan agreement. Lenders include this stipulation in leases and loans so that the lender's financial investment in a vehicle is protected even if the vehicle is damaged.
How Can Drivers Save on an Auto Policy?
There are many discounts that insurance companies often make available to drivers. Some discounts that might help lower an auto policy’s premium include safe driver, multi-policy, pay-in-full, good student and loyalty discounts. An insurance agent can check for other discount programs that a driver can qualify for.
Another good way to save on an auto policy is to compare quotes with an independent agent. An independent agent is able to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies in the state and show a driver which companies offer the best value based on coverage and price.
How Can Drivers in Maine Get Auto Insurance?
For help finding auto insurance in Maine, contact the Trusted Choice agents at Rousseau Insurance. Our agents have helped many drivers in the state and they have the expertise necessary to make sure you find a good policy.