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Comprehensive vs. Liability Auto Insurance

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Auto Insurance: Comprehensive or Liability in San Diego, CA


Whether you’re buying auto insurance for the first time or you’re a long-time driver considering switching insurance companies, the question of comprehensive or liability insurance for your car is sure to come up. There are benefits and drawbacks to each option, so make your decision with care. If the price is an issue, make sure to compare quotes from different auto insurance companies, as the cost can vary widely. Something else to keep in mind is to ask local family and friends for insurance recommendations, as laws and prices vary by area. Here’s what you need to know regarding comprehensive and liability car insurance, brought to you by Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto, homeowners, renters, and business insurance San Diego residents can rely on for affordable coverage.

Learn the Differences Between the Two Types of Insurance

If you opt for liability coverage only on your automobile, in the event you’re in a car accident, your insurance will kick in and cover damage to the other person’s car, but it won’t pay for any damage to your own. If you have comprehensive coverage on your automobile, insurance will pay for damage to both the other car and your own car. Comprehensive coverage includes liability coverage. Comprehensive coverage also pays for other issues besides accidents, such as if a storm causes a tree to fall on your parked car.

Know Comprehensive Auto Insurance Is More Expensive

On a monthly basis, comprehensive coverage generally costs more—sometimes significantly more—than liability. In addition to the higher up-front cost, if you need to use your liability insurance, there’s often no deductible to pay out of pocket. However, comprehensive coverage may require a deductible to be paid before insurance coverage kicks in. On the face of it, liability is often cheaper than comprehensive all around, but that depends greatly on the circumstances.

Decide Which Coverage Is Right for Your Family

If you have a car that’s paid off and has low value, liability coverage might be your best option. If the car isn’t worth much, paying a deductible that could be almost equal to the value of your car doesn’t make much sense. And if your car is older and likely to need replacing in the next few years anyway, it isn’t necessary to spend extra money to keep it going. Another factor to think about is what the rest of your financial picture looks like. If you have a healthy amount in savings and could easily replace or pay for repairs on your car if you decide to fix it, consider liability-only insurance.

Consider the Rules and Laws of California

Whether you get liability or comprehensive coverage isn’t always your choice. If you’re leasing or still making payments on a car, you may be required to have comprehensive coverage whether you want it or not under the terms of your car loan or lease agreement. Also, California does have rules about the minimum amount of liability coverage you need to buy. For instance, you need bodily injury liability coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Drivers in California also need $5,000 property damage liability coverage at the minimum and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the amount of $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident. Lastly, California requires drivers to have uninsured motorist property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $3,500.

When they need affordable, reliable auto insurance San Diego, drivers turn to Altra Insurance Services. For high-quality insurance and unparalleled service, reach out to one of our friendly representatives today at 619-474-6666 to learn how you can save money on your auto insurance.

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