How to buy car insurance in the United States？(USA car insurance)
My first auto insurance (Auto Insurance) in the United States is GEICO. It has been used for more than two years and will be automatically renewed soon. GEICO’s premium (Premium) is more expensive. I want to see how the market is going. If there is a cheaper option, you can try another one.
At this time, my home insurance agent Melody sent me a postcard—this is a common way for Americans to do business and connect with customers. The mortgage company sent me a small gift a few days ago—so I wrote an email. She gave me a quote (Quote). I also told her that when I bought GEICO insurance before, I didn’t know anything when I first came to the United States. This time I plan to do a little research and comparison to see which car insurance is the cheapest and best to use.
Virginia law requirements for auto insurance
The contract provided by the insurance company must comply with the laws of this state, and consumers should also get a general idea. Take the state of Virginia where I live as an example. The relevant laws include:
In Virginia, auto insurance is not mandatory — you can choose to pay $500 to MVA to register a car without insurance. If an accident occurs, you need to pay for all losses yourself. For ordinary residents who drive safely, $500 is almost enough for a year’s car insurance. It is estimated that few people make this stupid choice. Otherwise, in the event of an accident, the medical bills in the United States will be very scary.
If you buy auto insurance, you need to include 1) a minimum of USD 25,000/50,000 of personal injury insurance (Bodily Injury Liability); 2) a minimum of USD 20,000 of property damage insurance (Property Damage); and 3) must include uninsured and Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
Virginia has severe penalties for speeding. Speeds above 80 miles per hour (approximately 128 kilometers) can be charged for dangerous driving, 6 points will be deducted, and will remain in your driving record for 11 years-meaning that your insurance rate may be higher in the next 11 years.
In the past, Virginia imposed a hefty fine of $1,050 on “severe speeding persons”, but this law was cancelled in 2008.
In Virginia, one point for one year of accident-free driving can be used to offset deductions for violations, but the maximum points are 5 points.
Two years of experience using GEICO insurance.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a large company, and their advertising and marketing are also very powerful. The gecko with a strange accent and the famous “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more” advertisement are well-known all over the United States. The first car I bought in the United States used their family’s insurance. At that time, I found three or four companies and the prices were similar. Below are my monthly auto insurance rates for GEICO over the past two years.
2013/07 – $186.50
2014/06 – $163.30
2014/09 – $156.22
2015/01 – $133.81
2015/04 – $123.27
2015/07 – $113.78
2015/08 – $107.98
The monthly rate of $186.50 for the first year is very high. The reason is simple: I just came to the United States not long ago, and I didn’t have any driving record, and my credit history was short. I couldn’t get a loan to buy a car, but I paid in full. In addition, the insurance limit I chose is relatively high. After the second year, it was gradually reduced to 163 → 156 → 133 → 123 → 113 → 107; compared to the initial rate, the monthly payment was 80 US dollars less.
As for the service, there is really nothing to say. When I was in Rockville, one glass was smashed-there are also many gangsters and gangsters in the United States. The area is generally safe. I don’t know why this happened-it costs more than 100 dollars to replace the glass, but my “Comprehensive” clause is 1,000. The deductible in US dollars, so GEICO does not compensate. Apart from this, there have been no accidents and no claims, so it is difficult to judge whether their services are good.
America’s best auto insurance company
Since you want to look at the market, first of all is to find a company that is larger in the industry and has a better reputation. www.reviews.com, headquartered in Washington State, spent more than 200 hours analyzing 105 research articles, 248 advertisements from 13 insurance companies, interviewing 50 practitioners, 42 insurance experts, and more than 120 car repairs Click and survey 423 insured drivers, 28 “novices” who need to buy insurance… Selected as “the best auto insurance company in the United States” (the following are in alphabetical order, in no particular order):
Travelers Insurance Group
I did not go into the specific analysis method, and interested readers can view the original text. I have heard of most of the companies on the list, and there are often advertisements for them on TV.
GEICO ranked sixth. Because I often hear their advertisements “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more”, I always thought that GEICO’s rates were cheaper. In fact, this is an illusion; each insurance company’s advertisement says that its own rate is cheap, saying “75% of our customers who switch to our customers from other companies save $500!” Don’t listen to the nonsense of the advertisements, find a few more companies and quote them separately. , Who is high and who is low at a glance.
When I bought a house, Liberty Mutual, a subsidiary of GEICO, gave us a Condo Insurance Quote of $1,203 per year. Even the people from the mortgage company were stunned: That’s insane! So the people from the mortgage company recommended their own insurance company to me. Made an offer for State Auto, $317 for the whole year.
Comparison of quotations of major insurance companies
I selected 6 auto insurance quotations for comparison, including 4 on the “Best Auto Insurance Companies in America” list; plus GEICO; plus the State Auto quotation that Melody gave me.
Comparison of 6 auto insurance quotes (unit: USD)
Personal injury 25K/50K 100K/300K 364.90 141.00 128.00 664.00 628.00 677.76
Property loss 20K 50K 426.86 114.00 132.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Personal insurance for the uninsured 25K/50K 100K/300K 32.98 52.00 58.00 88.00 94.00 134.76
Property insurance for the uninsured 20K 50K 26.42 20.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Medical expenditure N/A 3K 100.18 33.00 54.00 126.00 56.00 171.12
Collision N/A Pay $1,000 363.60 274.00 250.00 500.00 354.00 311.16
Comprehensive N/A Out-of-pocket $1,000 41.90 44.00 34.00 54.00 64.00 63.96
Rescue on the road N/A $75.00 15.04 13.00 6.00 14.00 22.00 11.40
Transportation subsidy N/A $900.00 72.88 40.00 38.00 90.00 68.00 75.72
One-year premium N/A N/A 1444.76 731.00 700.00 1,536.00 1,286.00 1,445.88
“VA Minimum” refers to the minimum amount of insurance required by Virginia law. “Practical insurance” is the insurance limit I want, among which I choose 100,000/300,000 for life insurance, which is the higher limit-American lives are very expensive, so buy more just in case. There are several companies whose premiums for “Property Loss” and “Uninsured Property Insurance” are zero, because they quoted “Personal + Property Insurance” together.
As can be seen from the above table, Allstate’s offer is the lowest, only 700 US dollars for the whole year; Melody’s State Auto offer to me is also relatively low, at 731 US dollars; the remaining 4 companies, including GEICO, which I have used for 2 years, are all quoting 1,200 Above, the highest is Nationwide at $1,536, which is more than twice the price of Allstate and State Auto. There are often “Nationwide is on your side” advertisements on TV, so I just haha, haha.
Why is there such a big difference in online quotes? I suspect that one of the reasons is the understanding of “driving age”. The question of some insurance companies is “How many years have you obtained a driver’s license in the U.S. or Canada?” Others asked “How many years have you had a driver’s license?” If you press the former, I only have more than two years of driving experience; 10 years, because the first time I got my driver’s license was in Guangdong, China in 2005. Age, driving experience, driving record, and credit history all have a greater impact on insurance quotes.
Explanation of common terms of U.S. auto insurance
There are many auto insurance companies in the United States, and the common insurance items and terms are nothing more than the following nine types. Reading carefully and understanding the meaning of each can help you decide whether to add or reject it (different state laws, some clauses must be added), and how much to choose.
How to buy car insurance in the United States？USA car insurance
1. Personal injury
That is, “Bodily Injury Liability.” If the accident is your responsibility, the insurance company will compensate the other party for expenses incurred due to injury or death according to this clause, including medical care, funeral, loss of lost work, and mental loss due to injury (by the court Ruling) etc.; if a lawsuit is brought due to personal injury, this clause will also cover the costs of the lawsuit.
It should be noted that this clause does not cover your own expenses due to injury or death:
If the responsibility lies with the other party, the other party’s insurance is responsible for your injury or death costs.
If the responsibility is yours, the insurance company may pay according to the “Medical Expense” clause or require your medical insurance to intervene; if you have neither purchased “Medical Expense” nor medical insurance, please pay out of your pocket.
Bodily Injury Liability usually contains two parts: the amount of compensation per person; the total amount of compensation for a single accident. For example, for the 100K/300K in the above table, if I accidentally injured 5 people while driving, which is my responsibility, the insurance company can pay up to 100,000 per person, but the total amount of compensation for the entire accident does not exceed 300,000 US dollars.
2. Property loss
That is, “Property Damage Liability.” Compensation for the property damage caused to others due to your responsibilities in the accident. Same as above, this clause does not care about your loss.
3. Personal insurance for the uninsured (or low-insured)
It is usually called “Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury.” If the responsibility for the accident lies with the other party, but the other party does not have insurance (see article 1 of the Virginia law requirements above), or the insurance limit is too low to cover you (or your family) for personal injury Your insurance company will compensate for the losses incurred according to this clause. This clause, like “Bodily Injury Liability”, usually includes “pay per person” and “total amount of single accident”.
4. Property insurance for the uninsured (low-insured)
Usually called “Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Property Damage.” If the responsibility for the accident lies with the other party, but the other party has no insurance or the insurance limit is too low to cover your property damage, your insurance company will compensate according to this clause.
5. Medical expenses
It is usually called “Medical Expenses.” If you are responsible for the accident and you are injured (or died), this pays for your medical (or funeral) expenses, but does not include other expenses such as missed work. As explained above, if the responsibility for the accident lies with you, “Bodily Injury Liability” pays the other party’s personal injury loss, not your own personal injury loss.
In addition to “Medical Expenses”, there are currently 12 states in the United States that have “No-Fault Insurance” laws, that is, “No matter who is responsible, your insurance company needs to cover your losses caused by personal injury”; these 12 states Yes: Florida; Hawaii; Kansas; Kentucky; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Dakota; Pennsylvania; Utah. If you are in these states, please contact your insurance company for details.
That is, “Collision.” The compensation is for the loss of your car in a collision accident. For example, if you hit a telephone pole, hit someone else’s car, need repairs or even scrap it, the insurance company will compensate you for your loss according to this clause. As for the property damage caused by your responsibility in the accident, see “Property Damage Liability.”
Collision clauses usually choose “Deductible,” that is, “deductible”. If Deductible is 0, the insurance company will compensate you for all costs incurred in repairing and scrapping your car. In the above table, I chose Deductible as 1,000 USD, which means that the insurance company is only responsible for the loss in excess of 1,000 USD. The lower the Deductible, the better, but the premium is naturally higher.
It is usually called “Comprehensive” or “Non-Collision.” The compensation is due to accidents other than collisions, such as your car being smashed by a tree branch from the sky (this stem is often found in insurance advertisements), being burned, or being burned. If it is stolen, smashed, and flooded, the insurance company will compensate according to this clause. Also optional “Deductible.”
8. Rescue on the road
It is usually called “Emergency Road Service” or “Tow and Labor.” The compensation is for tow trucks and flat tires to be repaired by someone, and for locking yourself out of the car, you need to ask someone to unlock them. The sum assured for this one is usually lower.
9. Transportation subsidy
It is usually called “Transportation Expense.” To compensate you for the cost of renting a car because the car is broken or lost, I chose $900.
Half-risk or full-risk?
Semi-risk is “Liability-Only”, which insures loss and injury caused by human error. It is usually a must-buy insurance type required by law. Please refer to the “VA Minimum” requirements in the table above.
Full insurance is “Full Coverage”, usually refers to semi-risk + collision insurance (Collision) + comprehensive insurance (Comprehensive), and the added protection is the loss caused by accidents to your car
For example, if your car is parked on the street and the glass is broken by someone (vandalism), or it is smashed by a tree branch from the sky, or it is flooded by a heavy rain, regardless of Liability-Only, the full risk management ( Comprehensive). However, “all risks” is actually a relatively vague concept; it does not “control everything”, and generally does not include road rescue, transportation subsidies and other items.
Many insurance companies and brokers do not ask you whether you want “Liability-Only” or “Full Coverage” when quoting (especially automatic online quotation systems), but directly let you choose various insurance types and limits. If you choose Collision and Comprehensive, it is naturally the so-called “all risks”.
How do you decide whether you should buy full insurance or only half insurance? Please check the above terms and explanations to see if you need Collision and Comprehensive. The insurances I purchased include road rescue, etc., which are more comprehensive than the so-called “full insurance”. Generally speaking:
If there is a loan, the bank usually requires the purchase of full insurance, because they need to protect their own interests, even if the car encounters an accident, the loss can be recovered.
If there is no loan and the car is very old (value less than 5,000 USD), it may not be necessary to buy all insurance, especially all insurance with high Deductible
Is it better to buy a large company or a small company for auto insurance?
When I bought a house, the mortgage first contacted PNC Bank and HSBC, both of which were big banks. The Loan Officer in charge is very serious, but responds very slowly — often an email only responds a few days or even a week later. It was the peak season for buying a house (April and May), and they might have a lot of customers and couldn’t be too busy-but anyway, it was a very bad customer experience for me.
The real estate agent Fenny may have noticed that I am a little annoyed, so he told me that if I don’t like these two banks, I can find another one. For example, their company has cooperated with an MVB Mortgage many times, and I can also try it.
MVB Mortgage is very small, and its parent company MVB Financial Corp. is listed on the OTC, with a market value of approximately US$120 million. They are not a bank, or even a real “loan” or “insurance” company, as far as I understand it, but an Agency; they sold me the mortgage and sold it to another company.
The house and auto insurance that Melody drove for me came from “State Auto”; State Auto is a bit larger, listed on NASDAQ, with a market value of about US$1 billion.
And some relatively large insurance companies, such as Allstate listed on NYSE, have a market value of approximately US$24.7 billion.
However, the services of MVB Mortgage and MVB Insurance are very good—maybe because they are small companies and must provide good services to win customers; or because they are an agency and need to do business to get a commission, not like PNC Bank and The Loan Officer of HSBC sits in the office to get his salary (I guess). I emailed them, and I replied within half a day, and often even within half an hour.
In addition, Melody of MVB Insurance directly contacted MVB Mortgage for all the materials and information when applying for house insurance for me, without asking me, and the online systems of other insurance companies had to fill in a lot of information, even including “What material is the exterior wall?” “What kind of structure is the house”, “Is there a fire station within 1 mile” and many other things I don’t know. When quoting auto insurance, Melody also asked me for an existing GEICO insurance policy, and then made a Policy Match, there are no extra questions; and the online quotation systems of major insurance companies have to ask a lot of questions, including you I usually drive faster or slower than others, and do I often slam the brakes, etc., which even makes me wonder, “If I answer inaccurately in the future, if something happens, would you use this as a reason not to pay?”
USA car insurance ,you will know how to choose it ?
It will save a lot of trouble to have Agent to assist in handling. Buying a house is the same: in theory, of course, it is not necessary to go through an intermediary. In fact, when we buy a house in Beijing, all the procedures are handled by ourselves—the reason is that the intermediary wants to charge an extra 10,000 yuan to “manage” and “handle high reviews.” , We did not agree and insisted on following the legal process, and the result fell out-but after buying a house in the United States, we realized that there are really many procedures (more than in China). If you are buying a house for the first time, don’t try to do it yourself without the intermediary.
As for the small size of the company, is it unreliable? Although MVB and State Auto are small, they are all listed companies. Regarding claims, I think it is enough to understand the contract. Regardless of the size of the company, the contract shall prevail.
Recommendations for choosing auto insurance in the U.S.
Briefly understand the laws related to auto insurance in this state.
To clarify the meaning of each item of auto insurance, please refer to the “Explanation of Common U.S. Auto Insurance Terms” above.
According to your own situation, choose the type of insurance you need to purchase and the amount of insurance.
Find a few more familiar auto insurance companies and make quotations based on the same type of insurance and insured amount, and compare them horizontally.
If you have multiple insurances, such as house insurance, auto insurance, and personal insurance, try to do it in the same company, and there will be additional discounts. I finally decided to use Melody’s State Auto as an agent for auto insurance. The home insurance I purchased before gave me a refund of about $20.
If you have insurance now, you can contact them before you change and tell them clearly “I want to change because other insurance companies give me a better offer” — generally they will provide additional discounts and discounts to try to keep you ( Retention Offer). When I changed mobile phone operators, Verizon offered a big discount and hoped that I would stay, but I had already processed it at Sprint at the time, and I didn’t bother to go back. Otherwise, Verizon’s price would be very competitive and the network would be very competitive. Better than Sprint, you can stay.
Common factors affecting auto insurance premiums
Incident records. The more accidents, the higher the premium.
Driving experience. The longer the driving experience (and no accidents), the lower the premium.
age. Insurance premiums over 25 years old will be reduced. Young people in their teens and early twenties have much higher premiums because this group has a higher chance of accidents. If you are married and have children, you will usually drive more steadily, and your insurance premiums will also be lowered.
area. Areas with poorer traffic and security conditions have a greater chance of accidents and therefore higher insurance premiums. Urban insurance premiums are generally higher than in rural areas.
It is said that women have higher premiums than men. Probably because female drivers have more accidents.
Many companies, industry associations, organizations, Veteran, student organizations and even alumni may have various discounts, and premiums can be discounted.