Full coverageÂ car insuranceÂ covers you for most eventualities, but it is also expensive. You get what you pay for, and in this case, what you pay for isÂ liability coverage,Â collision coverage, andÂ comprehensive coverage.
The question is, how essential are all of these coverage options and at what point do they become surplus to requirements?
YourÂ insurance coverageÂ is never set in stone. You can increase your coverage as needed and drop coverage when it is no longer needed. Staying on top of everything is just a case of making the right choices at the right time.
What isÂ Full CoverageÂ Auto Insurance?
There are several different types ofÂ auto insurance, each covering you for something different. The most important cover is something known asÂ liability insurance, which spansÂ bodily injuryÂ andÂ property damageÂ and covers you when you injure another driver or their property.
Liability insuranceÂ is required in nearly all states and there are minimum coverage limits in all of them. To make sure you are legal, you need to meet these limits. If you want additional liability cover to protect your personal assets, you can pay more and aim higher.
Collision coverageÂ andÂ comprehensive coverageÂ are also required if you wantÂ full coverageÂ car insurance. WithÂ collision insurance, you are protected against damage caused to your own property, whether that damage is the result of a road traffic accident or a collision with a wall or guardrail. As forÂ comprehensive insurance, it protects you againstÂ vandalism, theft, weather damage, and most of the things not covered byÂ collision insurance.
AÂ full coverageÂ policy should also include some personal injury protection (PIP) cover, whether in the form of medical payments coverage or personal injury protection coverage. Both are designed to help you with medical bills and other expenses resulting from personal injury, while PIP goes one step further and covers you for transportation costs, childcare expenses, and loss of work.
All of these options are part of aÂ full coverageÂ insuranceÂ policy. There are also many additional coverage options and add-ons, but these aren’t necessarily part of aÂ full coverageÂ policy and, in most cases, need to be added for an extra cost. These options include:
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:Â Minimum coverÂ car insuranceÂ won’t protect you if you are hit by an uninsured driver. It has been estimated that as many as 13% of all drivers on US roads are not insured and, in some states, this climbs as high as 25%. With uninsured motorist coverage, you will be protected for such eventualities.
- Gap Insurance:Â When you purchase a brandÂ new carÂ on finance, the lender will often insist on gap insurance. A car depreciates rapidly and if that depreciation drops the value below the balance of the loan, the lender stands to lose out. Gap insurance protects them against such an outcome and covers the difference to make sure they get their money back if the car is written off.
- New CarÂ Replacement:Â AÂ new carÂ replacement policy will do exactly what the name suggests, providing you with a new vehicle in the event your current one is written off. Depending on the insurer, there will be limits concerning the age of the vehicle and the number of miles on the clock.
- Roadside Assistance:Â With roadside assistance, you will be covered for essential services if you break down by the side of the road. It typically includes tire changes, fuel delivery, towing, lost key replacement, and more.
- Pet Injury:Â What happens when your pet gets injured during a road traffic accident? If you have pet insurance, they will be covered through that. If not, many providers will give you a pet injury insurance add-on.
- Rental Car Reimbursement:Â If your car is stolen or getting repaired, rental car reimbursement coverage will help you to cover the costs of a short term rental. This insurance option is often fixed at a daily sum of between $50 and $100 and lasts for no more than 30 days.
- Accidental Death:Â A type ofÂ life insuranceÂ that focuses on accidents, paying a death benefit to a beneficiary when a loved one dies in an accident.
When to Drop FullÂ CarÂ InsuranceÂ Coverage
TheÂ value of the carÂ you drive, along with yourÂ insurance ratesÂ and your driving record, will impact whether or not you should dropÂ full coverageÂ auto insurance. Take a look at the following examples to discover when this might be the right option for you:
1. YourÂ Insurance PremiumsÂ are too High
If yourÂ carÂ insuranceÂ ratesÂ are higher than the size of aÂ payoutÂ following an accident, it might be time to trim the fat. Insurance is a gamble, a form of protection. You pay a small sum of money in the knowledge that you’ll be covered for a large sum if something untoward happens. But if you reach a point when your premiums begin to exceed the potentialÂ payout, it’s no longer useful.
2. You Have an Old Car
The lower yourÂ car’s value, the less you needÂ full coverageÂ car insurance. If you’re driving around in a car that costs less than $1,000 and you’re paying $2,000 for the pleasure, you may as well be throwing your money down a wishing well.
In the event of an accident, you’ll have a deductible to pay and that deductible could be near theÂ value of the car. In such cases, it will nearly always make more sense to stick with minimum insurance and to just scrap your car if anything serious happens.
3. You Have a LargeÂ Emergency Fund
AnÂ emergency fundÂ is a sum of money you keep to one side to cover you for emergencies, including job issues, medical bills, broken appliances, and car troubles. If you have such a fund available, you have a few more options at your disposal and can consider droppingÂ full coverage.
It will save you money in the long term and if anything happens in the short term, you still have options and won’t be completely financially destitute.
Bottom Line: When It’s Needed
While there are times whenÂ full coverageÂ is unnecessary and excessive, there are also times when it is essential. If you have aÂ new car, for instance, you should get all of the cover you can afford, otherwise, you could be seriously out of pocket following an accident or theft.
When Should you Drop Full Coverage on your Car? is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
Shelter Insurance is a mutual insurance company that was founded in 1946 and operates out of Columbia, Missouri. This highly-rated, award-winning insurance company offers a wealth of insurance products across the states of Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
In this Shelter Insurance review, we’ll look at insurance policies, coverage options, customer satisfaction, liability cover, and more, before seeing how Shelter compares to other leading insurance companies.
Shelter Car Insurance Coverage Options
Shelter is a leading auto insurance company in Missouri and other serviced states. It isn’t always the cheapest (more on that below) but it does provide a wealth of coverage options, including:
Liability coverage is the most basic, bare-bones insurance type and one that is required in most states. Liability insurance covers bodily insurance (per person and per accident) and property damage. It essentially covers you for the damage you do to another driver and their property during a car accident.
An optional form of auto insurance that covers you for damage done to your own vehicle, regardless of who was at fault. If you have collision coverage on your auto policy, you will get a payout when you hit a guardrail, wall, tree or building.
However, it’s one of the most expensive add-ons and a lot of the damage you do to your own vehicle may not be severe enough to warrant paying the deductible.
With comprehensive coverage, you will be covered for many of the things that collision insurance doesn’t cover. For instance, it provides protection against vandalism and damage from extreme weather events. It also covers you in the event of an animal collision, which is surprisingly not covered by collision insurance.
Personal Injury Protection
With PIP insurance, you will be covered for some of the personal losses you incur due to an injury sustained in a car accident. For instance, if you’re hit by another driver and suffer severe injuries that cause you to miss work, PIP will pay for the money you lose. It will also cover the money needed to cover traveling for doctor and hospital appointments, as well as childcare costs.
By adding medical payments cover onto your policy you will be protected against hefty medical bills resulting from a car accident. This option is required in just a few states but the coverage limits are often set very low.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorists are a growing problem on America’s roads. If you’re hit by one of these drivers and don’t have collision insurance, you could be left severely out of pocket. But not if you have underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance.
This coverage option will protect you against bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Shelter car insurance policies offer optional roadside assistance cover, which gives you up to $100 per claim and covers you for expenses accrued when you are stranded by the roadside.
Roadside assistance is an emergency service designed to help you get back on the road or to tow your car to a nearby garage. It includes everything from lost key replacement to fuel delivery and tire changes.
Rental Car Reimbursement
If your car is stolen or damaged so badly that it needs to spend several days or weeks in a repair shop, rental car reimbursement can help you to stay on the road. It will cover you for the money you spend on rental cars, which means you won’t miss a single important car journey.
Your coverage will be limited to a specific time period and you will not be covered for rentals that extend beyond this period.
A form of life insurance that covers you for accidental deaths, such as car accidents. If you die in an accident, for example, your spouse or family members will receive a payout. There are many more restrictions than you get with term life insurance policies, but the premiums are also much lower.
Disability Income Coverage
PIP can cover you if you suffer serious bodily injuries and miss work as a result, but what happens if you’re forced to miss up to a year of work? That’s where Disability Income Coverage comes in. With Shelter, you will be paid a sum of money every week for up to a year.
If you bought your car on finance and wreck it soon after, the insurance payout may not be enough to cover the losses due to the interest payments and the rapid deprecation that new cars experience. With GAP insurance, you will be covered for that extra amount. As a result, this type of car insurance is often required by auto loan companies.
New Car Replacement
If you have a car that is less than a year old and has fewer than 15,000 miles on the clock, you can apply for the new car replacement program, which gives you a like-for-like replacement. This is an essential addition for anyone driving an expensive new vehicle as the losses could be catastrophic without it.
Other Shelter Insurance Options
Shelter offers multiple additional insurance options, many of which can be bought along with your car insurance, allowing you to save money with a multi-policy discount.
As with Shelter car insurance, we recommend comparing rates to other insurance companies, making sure you’re getting the best coverage for the lowest rates. There are a huge number of insurance companies in the United States offering the same coverage options found at Shelter, and many of them are cheaper:
A homeowners policy from Shelter will protect your property and everything in it. You can get cover for the dwelling, personal property, medical payments, personal liability, living expenses, and more.
Shelter also offers additional coverage options pertaining to electronics, sewer damage, earthquake damage, loss of farming equipment, and more.
If you rent your home, you won’t need property insurance, but you still need to protect your personal property and that’s where renter’s insurance comes. If your flat/house is burgled and you lose expensive items, including heirlooms, jewelry, artwork, and electronics, you will be covered.
With a minimum liability of $1 million, umbrella insurance will step in and provide cover above and beyond what you are offered elsewhere. If you have a lot of personal assets and are worried about being sued above what your liability insurance can pay, this is the policy for you.
A business insurance policy from Shelter will protect your business against property loss, equipment damage, liability claims, and more. This is essential for all businesses and at Shelter you can choose a range of customization options to make sure the policy is perfectly suited to your needs.
Your home insurance policy doesn’t cover you for flood damage and this is true whether you’re with Shelter or not. However, you can add flood insurance to your Shelter insurance policy, with the rates dependent on where you live and how common floods are in your area.
In addition to accidental death cover, Shelter also has term life and whole life insurance policies. These provide payouts to your loved ones in the event of your death.
Your age, activity, medical history, and health will dictate the size of your insurance premiums and your death benefit.
Shelter Car Insurance Cost
We ran some car insurance quotes and found that Shelter was consistently more expensive than providers like GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and Progressive. In fact, when comparing quotes for young drivers, Shelter car insurance premiums were more than double those offered by GEICO and were also substantially higher than other major carriers.
In many states, including Kentucky and Louisiana, Shelter ranked as one of the most expensive providers. The rates were a little more promising in Missouri, but you’ll probably still get better offers elsewhere.
Regardless of what you think about Shelter Insurance and whether or not you have had good experiences with them in the past, we recommend getting quotes from other providers first.
Of course, it isn’t all about price, but it takes some incredibly impressive customer support and benefits for a $3,000 policy to take precedent over one that costs $1,500 or less, and we’re not convinced Shelter has that level of support or those benefits.
Bottom Line: Shelter Insurance Review
Shelter is a dedicated, capable, and financially strong insurance provider that offers extensive coverage for both drivers and homeowners. It has good reviews from policyholders, has high ratings from AM Best, JD Power and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are very few complaints when compared to other providers.
Shelter serves a number of states and if you reside in one of these, it’s worth getting a quote. Just don’t forget to check other providers and don’t assume Shelter will offer the best rates. In our experience, it’s more likely to be one of the most expensive providers in your state, but you won’t know until you check.
Visit www.ShelterInsurance.com to learn more and to discuss an auto policy and/or home insurance policy with one of their representatives.
Shelter Insurance Review: Car, Home, and More is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.