Blog Automobile Physical Damage Coverage

Automobile Physical Damage Coverage

Written by Jared Thames—Sales Representative

October 18, 2018 · Personal Lines, Car Insurance

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Most of us drive an automobile on a daily basis but do not know much about our auto coverage. At Hennessey, Thames & Leavitt Insurance Agency, we help drivers in Vicksburg protect the things and people that are most important to them. When it comes to car insurance, let’s start with the basics. There are two separate sides of a personal auto policy. One side is liability and the other is physical damage. For today’s purposes, we will look into the physical damage side of the policy. Physical damage coverage is broken down into two sections, comprehensive and collision.

Comprehensive coverage is very broad. Comprehensive contains coverage for flood, fire, vandalism, theft, falling objects, glass breakage, and hitting an animal. Even if you are a good driver, those things could easily occur. Since these are the most common things that will happen to your vehicle, the comprehensive deductible is usually lower than the collision deductible. Some companies even offer a zero dollar deductible for claims on your windshield or other windows on the car. The collision portion of the policy gives you coverage if you hit another motorist or a fixed object, like a light pole or a fence. This deductible is usually higher than the comprehensive for two reasons. If you collide with something, it will more than likely be expensive to repair your car, and your driving ability gives you some control over having an accident.

When purchasing physical damage coverage, you also become eligible for a range of additional coverages. A popular, and very useful, coverage is the roadside assistance and/or towing coverage. This coverage is often inexpensive and can save you from having a bad day on the side of the road. The company will send someone out to help you if you break down, run out of gas, have a flat tire, or lock your keys in your car.

There is also coverage for the use of a rental car after a loss. While your car is in the shop being repaired, the insurance company will reimburse you for the days you have to rent a vehicle. Normally the coverage is limited to 30 days. However, if your car is not ready the insurance company will advocate on your behalf, and the body shop will pick up the remaining rental car costs. Some companies also offer additional coverage packages such as replacements for key-less key fobs, accident forgiveness, cell phone damage, and pet injury.

Another viable coverage that many motorists are not aware of is GAP or Loan/Lease coverage. When you lease or make payments on a car, the financing company may require you to carry full coverage and list them as a loss payee. This protects their investment in your vehicle, because if the vehicle is totaled they will have the rights to the claim check. This always creates a conundrum—how do you afford a new car if the financing company took all of your insurance check to pay for the old, totaled vehicle that you still owe on? This is where GAP coverage comes in to play. This coverage will pay for the difference in what you owe on the loan and what the car is worth. For example, if your car is worth $5,000 at the time of loss and you owe $6,000 on the loan, the insurance company will pay the additional $1,000 owed on the vehicle. This way you do not have to continue paying a car note on a vehicle that you no longer have. This is a very inexpensive coverage that is well worth it in the end.

Call Hennessey, Thames & Leavitt in Vicksburg today and let’s discuss physical damage on your car insurance!