What to Look for in Your Auto Insurance Policy

Uninsured motorist, collision, roadside assistance, total loss replacement. There are so many options when it comes to auto insurance and while most drivers know they need liability coverage, the rest is usually just a guess.


The most important thing to understand is that adequate auto insurance depends greatly on the exact needs of the driver and their driving practices. Because everyone is different, your auto insurance policy should not be something pre-packaged you pick off the shelf, it has to be tailored to your lifestyle.


Where to Begin
Since auto insurance and all the coverages that make up a policy are important considerations, it’s a good idea to consult with an independent agent who can help you find the best coverage to fit your needs.


When you’re choosing an agent, first think about how you want to interact with them. Some people prefer to talk with an agent in person, some via the phone; others find e-mail the most convenient. Choosing one who can work with you the way you want will make the whole process easier.


“The guidance a local agent provides customers, combined with the convenience of shopping for the best products, service and prices is invaluable.” says Jim Fults, vice president of personal insurance at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. “That’s why we are committed to selling auto insurance through independent agents.”


What to Consider
Fireman’s Fund recommends reviewing the following when shopping for your auto policy:


1. Look at coverages in this order of importance: required coverages, flex limits, deductibles and optional coverages.


2. Know the basics. Auto insurance can provide liability coverage, medical coverage and physical damage coverage.

  1. Liability coverage pays for the policyholder’s legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
  2. Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
  3. Physical damage coverage pays for damage to, or theft of, the car.


3. Familiarize yourself with what results in favorable pricing and credits:

  1. Good driving records
  2. Stability, including continuous insurance with no lapse in coverage
  3. Greater than state required minimum limits of liability
  4. Years with a prior carrier
  5. Home ownership
  6. Good to superior insurance scores
  7. Multiple policies with same carrier
  8. Having more cars than drivers
  9. Record without accidents or violations
  10. Age 55 or over and retired


4. Ask about options that may be important to you:

  1. Coverage for personal property
  2. Key coverage
  3. Repairs guaranteed
  4. Transportation expenses
  5. Coverage for CDs and other media
  6. Upgrade to a hybrid vehicle after a total loss


5. Think about premier coverages that can add:

  1. Choice of repair shop and original manufacturer’s parts
  2. Locked in car value at beginning of each policy term
  3. Worldwide liability
  4. Full glass replacement with no deductible
  5. Comparable rental car up to $10,000
  6. Roadside response including a tow to your preferred mechanic
  7. Deductible waivers when other party is at fault and has liability coverage
  8. Trip interruption with living expenses up to $1,000
  9. Pet coverage


6. Pick appropriate limits. As you make changes to your lifestyle, it is important to review insurance limits with your agent. It may be more beneficial to you now to pick a higher deductible, get more liability coverage or add excess/umbrella to your coverages. These kinds of changes can help lower your cost and/or increase your protection.


Fireman’s Fund Prestige Auto® Premier offers high limits, broad services and specialty coverages that can be flexible to meet a variety of auto needs. Talk to an independent insurance agent to find the best coverage for you.

These descriptions of coverage are abbreviated and are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the actual policy, which forms the contract between the insured and the insurance company. Availability of coverages, credits and options may vary by state.