There are a lot of options out there when it comes to auto insurance, but not all of them protect you properly in the event of an accident or loss of your vehicle. Before you purchase coverage, here’s what you need to know so you’re protected if the unexpected happens.
What Are Your State’s Minimum Liability Requirements?
Minimum liability coverage is required to register and operate a vehicle in Oklahoma. This protects both you and other drivers on the road in case of a crash. The state’s requirements for liability insurance are:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 coverage per accident
- $25,000 property damage coverage
You are required to have proof of insurance with you in case you are stopped by a law enforcement officer or are involved in an accident. In Oklahoma, you may carry paper insurance documents, or you are allowed to have digital proof of insurance, such as an insurance ID card downloaded to your mobile phone.
Do You Need Additional Liability Coverage?
We often recommend that our clients around Tulsa carry more than the minimum auto liability insurance, and the Oklahoma Insurance Department encourages this as well. Minimum liability coverage can protect you if you are at fault and another driver has minor injuries or drives a low-value vehicle.
However, minimum insurance won’t cover the replacement of a more expensive car or truck, nor will it cover serious injuries or disability, damage to multiple vehicles, or injuries to multiple people. You would have to pay the difference out of your own pocket, which few people can afford these days.
The State of Oklahoma suggests a 100/300/100 mix of liability insurance:
- $100,000 bodily injury coverage per person
- $300,000 coverage per accident
- $100,000 property damage coverage
Other good reasons to add more liability protection include:
- A driving record of previous accidents in which you were at fault
- New teen drivers in the household
- Having a high personal net worth
- Residing or commuting in an area with high accident statistics
- Using your vehicle more than the average driver
What Is Your Vehicle Worth?
Your liability insurance pays out if you are at fault in an accident, but it doesn’t protect your own vehicle in these instances. That’s where collision insurance comes in. This coverage pays for repairs or replacement of your vehicle, so you don’t have to pay from your own savings.
Collision insurance helps get you back on the road faster after an accident, which is invaluable if you need your car for work, school, or family activities. Unless your vehicle is very old, we always recommend this coverage.
We also suggest adding comprehensive insurance for full coverage. This protects you if your vehicle is damaged or lost due to fire, storms, theft, or vandalism. If you finance your vehicle, full coverage will likely be required by the lender.
How Do Premiums and Deductibles Work?
The cost of your auto insurance is the premium. The small amount you pay out of pocket when filing a claim is the deductible, originally designed to prevent false or frivolous insurance claims.
In most cases, your premium and deductible balance each other out. When you pay a higher premium, you have a lower deductible, and vice versa. You can use this to help budget for auto insurance. For example, if you have an impeccable driving record, you may feel your likelihood of an accident is lower, so you select a policy with a higher deductible and lower premium.
Why Are Independent Agents Preferred?
We hope you never have to actually use your auto insurance, but if you do, you want someone who is going to be there for you. Independent agents are the way to go here. You’ll get more personalized service than with large companies at a time that can be stressful for you.
Should you want to upgrade your policy or purchase another vehicle, we make that easy too. You’ll never be just a number with Hometown Insurance Agency. And we have a huge menu of auto insurance products to choose from since we have access to dozens of insurance carriers.
Ready to start a quote? You can start one online right now, or reach out to us at 918-408-4598 with your questions.