Cheap Car Insurance United States, Canada, UK, Australia
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Forty-seven states require that you have at least some kind of car insurance, so it's a good idea to know what the law requires you to have and what additional or optional coverage will help to protect you in the event of an accident.
Before purchasing auto insurance, you must consider a variety of factors including what kind of car you have, your driving record and the amount of money you are willing to pay. Understanding the simple basics of auto insurance will make you confident that the car insurance policy you choose will take care of your needs in the event of an accident.
In this article, we will walk you through the types of coverage that insurance companies offer and discuss possible insurance needs. Additionally we will look at what affects the price of auto insurance, how to bring the costs down and how to understand the components of your policy.
Vehicle insurance (also known as auto insurance, car insurance, or motor insurance) is insurance purchased for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred as a result of traffic accidents and against liability that could be incurred in an accident.
The first step in understanding an auto insurance policy is to learn the various types of coverage insurance companies offer. Some of this coverage may be required by your state and some of the coverage may be optional.
Liability - This coverage pays for accidental bodily injury and property damages to others. Injury damages include medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Property damage includes damaged property and automobiles. This coverage also pays defense and court costs. State laws determine how much liability coverage you must purchase, but you can always get more coverage than your state requires.
Collision - This coverage pays for damages to your vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or object.
Comprehensive - This coverage pays for loss or damage to the insured vehicle that doesn't occur in an auto accident. The types of damages comprehensive insurance covers include loss caused by fire, wind, hail, flood, vandalism or theft.
Medical Coverage - Pays medical expenses regardless of fault when the expenses are caused by an auto accident.
PIP - Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required in some states. This coverage pays medical expenses for the insured driver, regardless of fault, for treatment due to an auto accident.
Uninsured Motorist - Pays your car's damages when an auto accident is caused by a driver who doesn't have liability insurance.
Underinsured Motorist - Pays your car's damages when an auto accident is caused by someone who has insufficient liability insurance.
Rental Reimbursement - This type of coverage will pay for a rental car if your car is damaged due to an auto accident. Often this coverage has a daily allowance for a rental car.
Many insurance policies combine a number of these types of coverage. The first step in choosing the insurance you want for your car is to know the laws in your state. This will tell you the minimum insurance you need for your car. It's good to keep in mind that, just because your state may not require extensive insurance, extra coverage may be worth the expense. After all, no one wants to be stuck with thousands of dollars worth of bills because of an auto accident.
Australia Car Insurance
In South Australia, Third Party Personal insurance from the Motor Accident Commission is included in the licence registration fee for people over 16. A similar scheme applies in Western Australia.
In Victoria, Third Party Personal insurance from the Transport Accident Commission is similarly included, through a levy, in the vehicle registration fee.
In New South Wales, Compulsory Third Party Insurance (commonly known as CTP Insurance) is a mandatory requirement and each individual car must be insured or the vehicle will not be considered legal. Therefore, a motorist cannot drive the vehicle until it is insured. A 'Green Slip,' another name CTP Insurance is commonly known by due to the colour of the pages the form is printed on, must be obtained through one of the seven main insurers in New South Wales.
In Queensland, CTP is a mandatory part of registration for a vehicle. There is choice of insurer but price is government controlled in a tight band.
These state based third party insurance schemes usually cover only personal injury liability. Comprehensive vehicle insurance is sold separately to cover property damage and cover can be for events such as fire, theft, collision and other property damage.
Canada Car Insurance
Several Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec) provide a public auto insurance system while in the rest of the country insurance is provided privately. Basic auto insurance is mandatory throughout Canada with each province's government determining which benefits are included as minimum required auto insurance coverage and which benefits are options available for those seeking additional coverage. Accident benefits coverage is mandatory everywhere except for Newfoundland and Labrador. All provinces in Canada have some form of no-fault insurance available to accident victims. The difference from province to province is the extent to which tort or no-fault is emphasized. Typically, coverage against loss of or damage to the driver's own vehicle is optional - one notable exception to this is in Saskatchewan, where SGI provides collision coverage (less than a $700 deductible, such as a collision damage waiver) as part of its basic insurance policy. In Saskatchewan, residents have the option to have their auto insurance through a tort system but less than 0.5% of the population have taken this option.
United Kingdom Car Insurance
In 1930, the UK government introduced a law that required every person who used a vehicle on the road to have at least third party personal injury insurance. Today UK law is defined by the Road Traffic Act 1988, which was last modified in 1991. The Act requires that motorists either be insured, have a security, or have made a specified deposit (£500,000 as of 1991) with the Accountant General of the Supreme Court, against their liability for injuries to others (including passengers) and for damage to other persons' property resulting from use of a vehicle on a public road or in other public places.
The minimum level of insurance cover commonly available and which satisfies the requirement of the Act is called third party only insurance. The level of cover provided by Third party only insurance is basic but does exceed the requirements of the act.
Road Traffic Act Only Insurance is not the same as Third Party Only Insurance and is not often sold. It provides the very minimum cover to satisfy the requirements of the Act. For example Road Traffic Act Only Insurance has a limit of £1,000,000 for damage to third party property - third party only insurance typically has a greater limit for third party property damage.
It is an offence to drive a car, or allow others to drive it, without at least third party insurance whilst on the public highway (or public place Section 143(1)(a) RTA 1988 as amended 1991); however, no such legislation applies on private land.
Vehicles which are exempted by the act, from the requirement to be covered, include those owned by certain councils and local authorities, national park authorities, education authorities, police authorities, fire authorities, health service bodies and security services.
The insurance certificate or cover note issued by the insurance company constitutes legal evidence that the vehicle specified on the document is insured. The law says that an authorised person, such as the police, may require a driver to produce an insurance certificate for inspection. If the driver cannot show the document immediately on request, then the driver will usually be issued a HORT/1 with seven days, as of midnight of the date of issue, to take a valid insurance certificate (and usually other driving documents as well) to a police station of the driver's choice. Failure to produce an insurance certificate is an offence. The HORT/1 is commonly known - even by the issuing authorities when dealing with the public - as a "Producer".
Insurance is more expensive in Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK.
Most motorists in the UK are required to prominently display a vehicle licence (tax disc) on their vehicle when it is kept or driven on public roads. This helps to ensure that most people have adequate insurance on their vehicles because an insurance certificate must be produced when a disc is purchased.
The Motor Insurers' Bureau compensates the victims of road accidents caused by uninsured and untraced motorists. It also operates the Motor Insurance Database, which contains details of every insured vehicle in the country.
United States Car Insurance
In the United States, auto insurance covering liability for injuries and property damage done to others is compulsory in most states, though different states enforce the requirement differently. The state of New Hampshire, for example, does not require motorists to carry liability insurance (the ballpark model), while in Virginia residents must pay the state a $500 annual fee per vehicle if they choose not to buy liability insurance. Penalties for not purchasing auto insurance vary by state, but often involve a substantial fine, license and/or registration suspension or revocation, as well as possible jail time. Usually, the minimum required by law is third party insurance to protect third parties against the financial consequences of loss, damage or injury caused by a vehicle.
Some states, such as North Carolina, require that a driver hold liability insurance before a license can be issued.
Some states require that you carry proof of insurance in your car at all times, while others do not enforce this law. For example, North Carolina does not specify that you must carry proof of insurance in your vehicle; however, NC does state that you must have that information to trade with another driver in the event of an accident. Whether a state specifies you must have proof of insurance in your car or not, it's always advisable to have the information on hand in case an officer should request it.
Arizona Department of Transportation Research Project Manager John Semmens has recommended that car insurers issue license plates, and that they be held responsible for the full cost of injuries and property damages caused by their licensees under the Disneyland model. Plates would expire at the end of the insurance coverage period, and licensees would need to return their plates to their insurance office to receive a refund on their premiums. Vehicles driving without insurance would thus be easy to spot because they would not have license plates, or the plates would be past the marked expiration date.
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