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Personal Auto Insurance: What It Is, Why You Need It, and How to Get the Best Deal in North Carolina

Auto insurance for your personal vehicle is a given, right? Not necessarily. Just because the law requires you to have it doesn’t mean that everyone does. You may value your property and your life, but other drivers may not. Purchasing the best personal auto insurance not only helps you stay a law-abiding citizen, but it also helps you save money and protect yourself and loved ones in the long run. See why you really need personal auto insurance and how Wilson Insurance can help you get the very best coverage in North Carolina.

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Why Should I Be Worried About Auto Accidents?

You’re a safe driver, so why would you need coverage for accidents? Because not all drivers are safe drivers and what’s worse is that not all drivers purchase auto insurance. Even if you think you’re safe, here are some statistics that may make you take a second thought before cutting corners on your insurance.

  • There is an average of 6 million auto accidents every year  in the United States.
  • More than 90 people die every day as a result of auto  accidents in the U.S.
  • Every year 3 million people are injured in auto accidents.
  • 2 million people suffer permanent injuries from auto  accidents every year.
  • 72% of auto accidents result in property damage.

And most of these accidents are a result of circumstances that could have easily been avoided, like drunk driving, speeding and reckless driving.

What is Personal Auto Insurance?

In a nutshell, personal auto insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company stating that you’ll be covered financially if you’re ever in an auto accident. Depending on what type of policy you agree to, your policy covers things like:

  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Damage to other vehicles in an accident
  • Replacement costs for your vehicle if it’s totaled
  • Medical costs incurred from an auto accident

The extent of your coverage and how much insurance will pay if any of these things occur depends on multiple factors such as what type of insurance you have and what your deductibles are.

Distracted driving is another reason you should be worried about auto accidents. Talking on a cell phone, texting while driving and just not paying attention in general are types of distracted driving, and they result in some serious accidents. Here are a few more stats to consider:

  • 1 out of every 3 people text while driving.
  • If you text and drive, you’re 23 times more likely to crash.
  • 20% of accidents are caused by distracted driving.
  • Distracted driving kills nine people every day in the U.S.

By finding the best auto insurance policies, you can help avoid the costs associated with accidents should they ever happen to you. But how do you know what type of personal auto insurance you need?

What Types of Personal Auto Insurance Are There?

Part of ensuring you have the proper protection against accidents and other circumstances is understanding what types of personal auto insurance exist. Car insurance covers financial protection for three basic things: property, liability and medical costs. Here’s how those three coverages break down:

  1. Property coverage pays for damage to your vehicle in an accident or theft of your car.
  2. Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
  3. Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses due to an accident.

Here’s what you need to know about the main types of car insurance and what they each cover.

Liability Insurance

This is the type of personal auto insurance that most people are familiar with because it’s the one that most states require car owners to carry. Liability insurance covers:

  • You if you’re in a car accident that’s determined to be your fault
  • The cost of repairing property damage or replace property that can’t be repaired resulting from the accident
  • The cost of medical bills for you and the other erson/people for injuries resulting from the accident

Most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, but it’s a good idea to go above the minimum if you can afford it. Doing so will provide you with extra protection just in case you have an accident and you are found at fault. It also decreases the risk of paying large amounts in damages because your policy limit was exceeded, which is easy to do when you only purchase the required minimums.

Savings Tip: Wilson Insurance has plenty of ways to help you save money on your auto insurance premiums without sacrificing quality. See our list of discounts below!

Collision Coverage

If you have a lienholder, which usually means you’ve financed the purchase of your car, collision coverage may be required. For covered accidents, collision coverage pays for the repairs to your car. If your car is totaled in an accident (where the cost to repair it exceeds the value of the vehicle) collision coverage will pay for the value of your car so you can replace it.

Savings Tip: Unless required, consider the value of your vehicle before deciding on collision coverage. Older cars may not be worth carrying collision coverage on while newer cars may benefit from adding extra collision coverage. Wilson Insurance Services can help you decide!

Comprehensive Coverage

This type of coverage gives you extra peace of mind for damage unrelated to accidents - things like weather damage, hitting an animal, or if your car is stolen. It’s also another type of auto insurance that lienholders usually require. Liability and collision coverage only cover accidents, but comprehensive coverage takes care of the other unexpected situations.

Savings Tip: Using anti-theft and vehicle tracking devices can reduce your insurance premiums and make comprehensive coverage more affordable. Let Wilson Insurance help you determine if you qualify for additional discounts!

Personal Injury Protection

Remember all those accident statistics presented above? You don’t have to be in an auto accident to see how quickly medical bills can add up, but here are a few more statistics you might want to consider before making a decision about personal injury protection. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Car crash injuries result in an estimated $18 billion in lifetime medical costs.
  • 75% of medical costs incurred happen within 18 months of the crash.
  • Emergency department visits resulting from auto accidents average $3,300 per person.
  • Hospitalization costs resulting from auto accident injuries average $57,000 over a person’s lifetime.

With personal injury protection coverage, your medical bills along with those of your passengers will be paid, no matter who is at fault for an accident.

Savings Tip: It isn’t just your car you should think about protecting. Most accidents result in some kind of injury. Consider the cost of potential medical bills before you decide against personal injury protection.

Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist Protection

This type of auto insurance coverage is what you need in case you’re in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Even if the other driver is insured, they may only have the required liability insurance, which may not cover all the expenses incurred by an accident or crash. When the accident is their fault, their insurance makes any payments due to you but that doesn’t mean it will cover all the costs. Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection helps you cover what their insurance doesn’t.

Savings Tip: It's usually relatively inexpensive to add uninsured/underinsured motorist protection to your car insurance policy, especially considering the amount of protection it offers.

What is a Deductible and How Does it Affect My Coverage?

A deductible is the amount of money you are responsible for paying on incurred costs before your insurance coverage starts paying its part. As a general rule, the higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. But saving money up front may mean you’ll pay more if you do end up in a car accident. So, it’s a fine balance when deciding how low or how high you should go with your deductible. But Wilson Insurance Services can help you make the best decision for your insurance needs.

Savings Tip: While higher deductibles can save you money, there are multiple discounts that may also help you save money on premiums. Let a qualified insurance agent at Wilson Insurance help you find all the discounts you qualify for! decide against personal injury protection.

How Can I Save on Personal Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, but you also don’t want to sacrifice the coverage you actually need for the price you want. At Wilson Insurance, we offer several ways to help you save money while providing you with the quality coverage you deserve. Here are some of the options and discounts you may want to consider.

  • Multi-Policy Discounts: When you insure your home and auto with Wilson Insurance, you’ll receive discounts on both premiums.
  • Multi-Car Policies: The more vehicles you insure with Wilson Insurance, the greater your discount! Add all the cars owned or used by individuals living in the same household to receive this discount.
  • Safe Driver Discounts: If you’re a new policyholder, you may qualify for safe driver discounts if you were previously claim-free and violation free.
  • PERC Discounts: Even if you’re not a new policyholder, if you remain claims-free you may be eligible for additional discounts.
  • Pay Plan: Discounts are available for people who pay premiums in full either by the effective date or within 60 days of the effective date.

Ready to Become a Wilson Insurance Customer?

We’re ready to serve you! Becoming a Wilson Insurance Policyholder is as easy as a simple click or phone call. Just fill out our simple quote request and one of our qualified representatives will contact you within 24 hours with an auto quote, homeowner’s quote or a quote for both. You can also find our contact information here to speak with someone to get started right away.

Already a Wilson Insurance Services Customer?

While we are happy to speak with you personally and help you out, we understand that your time is valuable. Wilson Insurance makes it easy for you to make changes and update your policy online at your own convenience. Here are some of the forms and services you can access to request policy changes on an existing account.

  • Policy Management Forms
  • Add Driver to Existing Auto Policy
  • Add Vehicle to Existing Auto Policy
  • Remove Driver from Existing Auto Policy
  • Remove Vehicle from Existing Auto Policy
  • Request Declaration and Coverages Page for Auto Policy
  • Request ID Card for Auto Policy
  • Send Declaration and Coverages Information to Lien Holder
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Have more questions? Contact us to get the answers you need and the best personal auto insurance in North Carolina from Wilson Insurance Services today!

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