Auto – FAQs

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Do I need to buy the collision damage waiver when I rent a car?
Every insurance company has a different policy when it comes to damage to your rental car. We suggest that you contact our office for a specific answer to your question.     

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If I borrow my neighbor’s car and get into an accident, whose auto insurance applies, my neighbors or mine?
Auto insurance always follows the vehicle first. Therefore, your neighbor’s auto insurance would be the primary coverage. The driver’s insurance would be secondary.    

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I have an old car that isn’t worth much. Do I still need auto insurance?
Liability insurance is required in the state of California. However, you may decide not to purchase physical damage coverage (comprehensive or collision). Usually the cost of repairing damage to older vehicles is greater than the value of the car itself. As a result, if you purchase physical damage coverage, the insurer will usually “total” the vehicle and issue a check for the vehicle’s market value (less the deductible).

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What factors affect my auto insurance rates?
Your auto insurance premium is based on several factors. The most significant factors are: your driving record, the number of miles you drive annually and number of years of driving experience you have. Other factors which can also affect your rates are: the type of car you drive, how the vehicle is used, where you live and marital status. Statistics show that married people tend to have fewer accidents than single people.

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Why do I need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage if liability coverage is required in California?
Even though auto liability coverage is required in California, some people are still driving without coverage. In addition, California only requires minimum liability limits of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident. If the other party is determined to be legally liable, these limits may not be adequate to cover your damages. This coverage also is applicable in the event of a hit and run accident.     

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I’m driving to Mexico for the weekend; do I need to buy special coverage?
Yes. Auto accidents in Mexico are subject to the laws of Mexico, not the laws of the United States. As a result, Mexican law requires you to purchase auto liability insurance for your car through a licensed Mexican insurance company if you are driving your vehicle into Mexico.     

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What about Canada?
The coverage territory of your auto policy is defined as the United States of America, its territories or possessions, or Canada. Therefore, additional coverage is not required.  
   
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If I rent a car while on vacation in Europe (or other foreign country), will my auto policy cover me?
In most cases, no. A majority of auto insurance policies do not provide any coverage outside of the United States (its territories or possessions, or Canada). In order to be covered, you must purchase coverage from the rental car company in the country you are visiting. However, if the country recognizes U.S. auto laws, there may be an exception. Please contact our office for more details.

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