Top 5 Reasons to Have Auto Insurance

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about auto insurance until it’s time to renew your policy. Then you’re tempted to let it slip, thinking it’s more important to pay other bills. Besides, you’re a safe driver and haven’t had a speeding ticket in years. Who’s going to know you let your policy lapse? Such an attitude, however, is like playing Russian roulette. When you lose, you lose big. Before yielding to temptation, consider these top five reasons to have auto insurance.

1. It’s the Law

Every state has laws setting forth the minimum liability insurance that its drivers must carry. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has an excellent state-by-state summary of such laws.

If you don’t maintain auto insurance and are pulled over for speeding or any other traffic violation, you face a substantial fine and your driver’s license could be suspended. If you’re subsequently caught without auto insurance, both the fine and the suspension period increase.

2. Accidents Happen

According to the latest National Safety Council statistics, 2016 was the deadliest year on American highways in nearly a decade. Approximately 40,000 people died in vehicle crashes, a six percent increase from 2015 and a 14 percent increase since 2014. In addition, an estimated 4.6 million people were seriously injured.

Even if you have the minimum amount of liability insurance required by your state, that may not be enough. The problem with having only minimum coverage is that if you are at fault in an accident and the other driver files a lawsuit against you claiming more damages than what your policy will pay, you could be personally liable for the difference. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs, it’s quite possible that they might be awarded damages in excess of your policy limits. If that happens, you risk having your assets seized or your wages garnished until you satisfy the judgment in full.

3. Mother Nature Doesn’t Always Like You

Glorious sun-filled road trips notwithstanding, the weather can be your car’s worst enemy. That’s when comprehensive auto insurance from companies like becomes your car’s best friend. It pays for weather-related auto damage such as that caused by hail and floods.

Sometimes animals don’t like you any more than Mother Nature. If you’ve ever hit a dog, cat, or even a squirrel, you know what a traumatic and heartbreaking experience that is. But if a large animal such as a deer darts into the road ahead of you, your car, too, can be traumatized. Comprehensive insurance can’t ease your anguish over killing a beautiful animal, but it does pay for the damage your car sustains.

Comprehensive coverage also pays if your car is stolen or damaged in a roadside fire. And by the way, if you rent a car and don’t have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, you will not be covered if your rental is stolen or damaged in an accident.

4. Save Money

Auto insurance premiums often are based on the profiles of all the drivers covered by the policy. These profiles, in turn, are based on such factors as age, gender, and driving history.

Males under the age of 25 and seniors of either sex are most at risk for higher premiums. However, many auto insurance companies offer discounts to students who maintain a certain GPA or take a driver’s education course. Seniors likewise can receive a discount if they take a defensive driving course, many of which are offered online.

Other discounts often are available for:

•Good driving
•Airbags and other safety equipment
•Anti-theft equipment
•Multi-vehicle policies
•Online premium payments

5. Your Car is a Major Asset

Other than your home, your car is your most expensive asset. It’s also what gets you where you need to go when you need to get there. The thought of having to replace it is sobering at best, and the thought of living without a car is enough to make you shiver. Maintaining adequate auto insurance will relieve these fears and give you peace of mind knowing that you’re not on your own if the worst happens and your car is stolen or totaled in a freak accident.

The next time your auto policy comes up for renewal, don’t yield to that temptation to let it lapse, even for just a few days. Driving without insurance is dangerous and could result in financial disaster.