Some of us have noticed that there are way too many details to remember when it comes to buying auto insurance, although most drivers are basically aware of the important things. Here are ten things a lot of drivers don’t know about auto insurance. Not all of them are important. Some are just curious points of interest for incurable trivia buffs.
1. In 1927, Massachusetts became the first state to require auto liability insurance. Auto Insurance was first required for all vehicle owners in 1930, when the UK mandated coverage for all vehicles driven on public roads.
2. Auto insurance is tax deductible for business purposes. In other words, you can claim it as an expense, which is then subtracted from your total income, resulting in less income tax owed to the IRS. Insurance premiums and deductibles can be used as a major tax write-off, so don’t forget to make use of your auto insurance costs at tax time.
3. Auto insurance rates are sometimes affected by the occupation of the policy holder. For instance, teachers and engineers get the deepest occupation-based discounts on auto insurance. Other professionals favored by car insurance carriers are nuns, police officers, auto mechanics, and insurance underwriters. People who engage in these occupations are generally seen as safer drivers by insurance underwriters.
4. Your credit score affects your car insurance rates, whether or not the carrier is willing to admit it. It’s very hard to get low-cost auto insurance with bad credit.
5. Personal items in a damaged car are NOT covered under most auto insurance plans.
6. Comprehensive coverage basically covers all non-collision accidents. The only type of collision accident covered under Comprehensive coverage is when a bird or other animal collides with a vehicle.
7. Some non-collision damage is covered by Collision insurance. One example is when a vehicle flips or rolls over.
8. The amounts of some insurance payouts are determined by comparative negligence. The liability is divided by what percentage each driver is found to be responsible for the accident. For instance, a driver found to be 70 percent at fault can only collect 30 percent of the available payout. Some states impose a fifty-percent rule. This means that a driver who is found to be more than 50 percent responsible cannot collect monetary compensation on damages.
9. In some states, the Contributory Negligence rule applies. This means that a driver who is any part at fault for the accident cannot collect insurance money. This rule applies only if a driver tries to collect by way of the other driver’s insurance policy. The Contributory Negligence rule applies only in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington DC.
10. Uninsured (and/or Underinsured) Motorist Insurance, also known as UMI, is required in 22 states – Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington DC. Average auto insurance premiums are strongly affected by the percentage of uninsured vehicles on the road. The state with the highest percentage of UMI claims is Oklahoma. Nearly 26 percent of claims involve uninsured (or underinsured) drivers. To collect UMI, the claimant must provide receipts of related costs, medical records, bills, proof of lost wages, and photos of the accident (damage to the vehicle and related injuries). Across America, roughly one in eight vehicles on the road is uninsured.