Strange, isn’t it, that every U.S. State requires you to have auto insurance to be entitled to legally drive a motor vehicle, yet you have to buy the insurance and enter into a contract before you ever get to see the terms you’ve agreed to?

Sometimes insurers don’t even send you the entire policy of insurance, mailing out only your insurance card and the “dec page” (declaration page) – a single sheet of paper defining the monetary limits of your coverage.


Why is it that there is more information on the ``Nutritional Facts`` section on the back of most consumable products than on an insurance document that describes how you will be protected in the event of major financial loss?

If you have an issue with your Insurer, however, the Department of Insurance for your state will tell you to “read your policy”, as if you automatically received one and assuming that you can understand what is written in it.

Lawyers and Judges expect you to know your policy, too. Waiting until you’ve had an accident is a very bad time to find out that you really don’t have the coverage you thought you did.

Knowing what you are actually getting for auto coverage is important!

Insurers’ advertisements always tell you how much money you could be saving if you switch to their company. Just remember, any insurer can “save you money” on your car insurance if you are willing to accept less coverage. Be very careful about buying a “bikini policy”, – we call it that because it doesn’t cover very much.

More and more, Insurers encourage us to buy our auto insurance online. However, consider asking, “Is there is any cost savings associated with your online purchase?”.

With some insurers, there is no cost savings. The drawback is that you lose the personal connection with someone who knows you and has a much better understanding of the type of coverage you need.

In addition, you lose an agent who looks out for you and can alert you to possible lapses in coverage or who can ensure you receive your insurance card to fulfill legal responsibilities for driving.

Discounts can ultimately be costly, so make certain you educate yourself about the best insurance for your needs and whether you need a real person to help you address your auto insurance coverage.

Although having an agent is recommended, below are links to online quotes to use as a reference in comparing auto insurance carriers.

Click here for some top considerations to be aware of prior to purchasing your auto insurance

Click here for a sample comparison of insurance companies and their coverage options


Click here for INSURE.COM


Click Here for questions to ask your insurance company, your body shop, and yourself when purchasing auto insurance or having your vehicle repaired.



Will my vehicle be repaired with new genuine parts from my auto maker vs. imitation parts? If not, is there a discount off of the premium for agreeing to accept imitation parts?

Click Here to view a sample of the “Limits of Liability” section for major insurance companies where their policy language allows for the use of used/salvage and imitation collision repair parts.



If I lease my vehicle, does my agreement require me to have my vehicle repaired only with parts authorized by my original manufacturer? If my insurer only pays the cost of salvage or imitation parts, won’t that violate my agreement?

Click Here to view the “replacement parts” section for major auto manufacturer lease agreements where their policy language requires the use of (OEM) original equipment manufacturer pats for your repairs.

Will this Insurer sign an agreement guaranteeing my vehicle’s value will not decrease significantly because it was repaired without new or used original equipment parts?

Does this Insurer consider the use of imitation parts when coming up with a total loss value and reduce the amount I will receive because my vehicle was repaired without new original equipment parts in any prior accident?

Do I have rental car coverage? Does it pay for a rental of similar size and style as the one I’m having repaired? How many days does it cover?

Since rental cars range between $20 – $75 per day, what coverage options should I get so that I won’t have to pay any extra after I return the vehicle?

My preferred body shop also rents vehicles. Can I rent one directly from my shop?

I’ve heard that once a car has been in an accident, it loses value even if it is properly repaired. Will the insurer pay me the diminished value for my vehicle after an accident?

If someone else causes the damages to my vehicle and does not have insurance, do I have the proper amount of collision, uninsured/under insurance coverage?

If my vehicle is involved in an accident, will the insurer provide me with an election form that informs me if they are:

1. Paying for the damage in money as a total loss?
2. Electing to repair the damage?

Click Here to view and download a vehicle damage election form in Word format.

Click Here to view and download a vehicle damage election form in .pdf format.

You say you will guarantee the repairs if I have my vehicle repaired at one of your network of preferred collision repair shops. Will you accept full liability for the repair of my vehicle? What exactly does your guarantee promise? Is it in writing? Will you provide me the written document before I decide to have my repair performed at your preferred shop?

What are the terms that the collision repairers accept in order to participate in your network?