Almost every state has laws stating that people have auto insurance, but the actual regulations regarding auto insurance vary from state to state - so the type of coverage that you require depends on the state in which you live in.

Even if there are no laws, it is highly recommended that you have some form of cover; otherwise you may end up paying out huge amounts of money in the event of an accident, or even losing your home, in a worst-case scenario.


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Do You Have to Sacrifice Service for Price?

Some people go by the old saying that the more you pay, the better you get. Be it furniture, cars, clothes or other items - including car insurance - that statement is not always correct.

Let's take a totally different type of example. My mother takes blood pressure medication. It's pretty standard, but it is not on the discount list that a lot of pharmacies have. As a result, she has had to call all the local pharmacies in Kent County, RI to find out the best price. The difference in prices was astonishing! For the same number and same strength, the 6 pharmacies in our area including Walgreen's, Wal Mart, Smith's, Discount Drugs, Rite Aid and Sav On varied from $9.47 to $112.00 for the exact same medicine and all the pharmacies knew she was paying cash and had a county discount card.

This is how Auto insurance often works. One of the interesting things about auto insurance is that you don't have to necessarily sacrifice service for price. For instance, I have a friend who had Geico insurance. She got it over the phone. When she was in an accident, they assigned her an adjuster and there was never an issue where she was left on her own with no information and no help.

On the other hand, another friend had Progressive and though she saved a little money, when she skidded off the road into the ice, let's just say that the lower premium was not worth the aggravation she had to go through or the pneumonia afterward.

It is important to talk to the company and see what and who you fee comfortable. See if they will be there when you are in a jam, and ask around as to what some of your friends or others in the community think. There are many hard working, honest insurance agents right in town that will provide you with the same rates and service that you would get even if you paid more, but they charge fair rates and won't charge you more.

Do some research and talk to some people, the good old fashioned way and you will find an answer that fits your budget and make you feel you will be taken care of when you are in a situation where you need the help.

Car Insurance Q & A

Question: If someone borrows my car and crashes it, does my insurance apply, or does theirs?
Answer: Generally speaking, the liability follows the car, so your insurance would apply, as it is your car. The liability insurance of the driver often pays the additional amount if the costs payable are above your policy limits.

Question: If a child goes to college with mom or dad’s car, are they covered under the parents’ personal auto policy?
Answer: This can vary from company to company. Check with the insurance provider and make sure that the child is listed as an additional driver. Do this before the child goes to college, and it will avoid unnecessary disputes later on.

Question: Do I need ‘gap’ insurance?
Answer: If your vehicle is on finance, and its value is now less than the amount you owe, then yes you need gap insurance. If you owe less than its value, then no, you do not need gap insurance.