Car Insurance FAQs
Car Insurance Policy Basics
Car insurance is designed to protect you and everyone who shares the road with you from the potentially high cost of accident-related and other damages or injuries. It is a contract in which you pay a certain amount — or “premium” — to your insurance company in exchange for a set of coverages you select.
Most states require that you have car insurance if you own a vehicle, but mandatory minimum coverage and policy limits will vary. If you finance or lease your vehicle, your lender may also require specific coverages.
Beyond legal requirements, having car insurance is a smart decision. If you cause an accident, you may be held responsible to cover the related expenses such as car repairs, property damage, medical bills, lost wages, legal fees and more. Without the proper coverage, your financial well-being may be at risk.
Working with an insurance representative to help you choose a car insurance policy that addresses your individual needs and budget can help protect you, your loved ones and your assets.
It depends on the coverage options you choose. Since bodily injury and property damage liability insurance is required in most states, at a minimum your policy should cover vehicle and property damage, injury-related expenses for other people involved in an accident you cause, up to the state-mandated minimum policy limits.
You and your car, however, may not automatically be protected by the minimum coverage requirements. To help get the best protection for your individual needs, discuss available coverage options with your local independent agent or Travelers representative.
Anyone who drives your vehicles regularly, especially if they live in your household, should be listed as drivers on your policy. Typically, your policy protects other licensed drivers not listed on your policy who occasionally drive your car, such as:
- Extended family (visiting grandparent(s), parent(s), aunt/uncle(s), niece/nephew(s)).
- Friends (sharing shifts on a road trip).
- Boyfriend/girlfriend (who doesn’t live with you).
Check with your local independent agent or Travelers representative to learn more about who needs to be included and who is covered on your policy.
This depends on your particular situation. At a minimum, drivers must carry bodily injury and property damage liability coverage at the state-mandated limits to help cover vehicle, property damage and injury-related expenses for other people involved in an accident you cause.
Policy options beyond the minimum state requirements are available and can offer more complete protection. It is important to carefully consider your specific circumstances, including your risk tolerance and budget, then work with your local independent agent or Travelers representative to choose a policy that addresses your needs. Be sure to discuss the following common coverage options with your agent, too:
Repair or replacement of your own vehicle:
Towing and on-site roadside services, such as jump-starts and flat tire changes:
Rental car while you can’t use your covered auto because of an accident or incident:
Your own or your passenger's medical expenses related to an accident or incident:
Accident-related expenses if the driver who caused the accident has no insurance or inadequate coverage:
Choosing a car insurance policy that addresses your needs starts with choosing the right insurance company.
Travelers has been an insurance leader, committed to keeping pace with the ever-changing needs of our customers, for over 165 years. As one of the nation’s largest casualty companies, we offer a variety of competitive policy options and packages to ensure you get the right coverage at the right price. Our insurance representatives are available to help you create a policy that addresses your needs and budget.
We also understand that having insurance is about more than just protecting your vehicle. It is about making the process after any incident as simple and stress-free as possible.
Typically, most car policies renew automatically. We will notify you about any policy or premium changes in advance.
It is important to review your coverage needs with your local independent agent or Travelers representative on an annual basis.
Typically, Travelers customers can update their coverage option and policies limits anytime — online at MyTravelers.com, the MyTravelers® mobile app, or by speaking to their local independent agent or Travelers representative. Note that making changes. Note that making changes to your policy can affect your premium. Travelers notifies customers and adjusts their premium accordingly to reflect these changes once a policy is updated.
Remember, it is important to review your coverage needs with your local independent agent or Travelers representative on an annual basis.
Umbrella insurance (also known as excess coverage) provides additional liability coverage that can help protect your assets. It can also help cover defense costs, attorney fees and other charges associated with lawsuits.
The damages you caused to others after a serious accident or incident can quickly add up to exceed the liability limits of your policy. Umbrella insurance can provide extra protection in these cases, and is a valuable addition to any insurance portfolio, particularly if you have many assets to protect. Underlying auto limits are required. Talk to your local independent agent or Travelers representative to see if an umbrella policy is right for you.
Premium Pricing & Discounts
Where available, you may qualify for savings with safe driver, multi-policy insurance bundles, multi-car, and good student discounts, to name a few. Additional discounts may be available if you are insuring a new or hybrid/electric car or own a home. You could save based on how you choose to pay as well as when you pay your car insurance premium in full. Or you could save by paying through electronic funds transfer (EFT), payroll deduction, or by consistently paying your premium on time.*
Ask your local independent agent or Travelers representative about these and other ways to save on your car insurance to help ensure you are getting all the discounts for which you are eligible.
Your premium partly depends on the coverages, deductibles and policy limits you choose.
Here are a few ways to help you identify and keep the discounts that can save you money:
- Talk to your local independent agent or Travelers representative. Make sure you have the right policy for your individual needs, and that you are getting all the discounts for which you are eligible.
- Drive safely. Savings are often available to safe drivers. Staying accident, violation and claim-free can translate to lower premiums.
- Bundle your policies. Purchasing your car as well as homeowners, condo, renters, boat or umbrella insurance through Travelers may qualify you for our multi-policy discount.
In most cases, yes. When you buy property insurance (home, condo or renters) together with your car insurance, you can save up to 10% on your auto policy premium. When you purchase multiple policies with Travelers (auto and home, in addition to other policies, such as boat or umbrella), you can save up to 13% for having multiple policies with Travelers.
In most cases, yes. Typically, you can save money when you insure two or more cars on the same car insurance policy with Travelers. Ask your local independent agent or Travelers representative about our multi-car discount.
Your car insurance deductible is the amount you’ll be responsible for paying towards the costs due to a loss before your insurance coverage pays. The lower the deductible, the less you’ll pay out of pocket if an incident occurs. For example, if you choose a $1,000 car insurance deductible and have a covered loss that causes $2,000 in damage to your car, you would be responsible to pay the first $1,000.
Selecting a higher deductible may lower your car insurance premium. But it is important to choose a deductible you can afford in the event of a loss. Talk to your local independent agent or Travelers representative about the deductible options available to you.
Your car insurance liability coverage limits, also referred to as limit of liability, are the most your insurance will pay to an other party if you are legally responsible for an accident. Policy liability limits are often comprised of two separate dollar amounts — for example, $100,000/$300,000. The first amount ($100,000) would be the per-person policy limit, while the second amount ($300,000) is the total limit payable for a covered accident.
To keep monthly premiums low, drivers often opt for lower liability limits. Choosing a higher limit provides you more protection if an accident occurs. It is important to choose a liability limit you can afford in the event of a loss. Contact your local independent agent or Travelers representative for more information about your policy limits and options. Coverage limits may vary by coverage type and state.
Coverage & Limits
Bodily injury liability insurance typically covers the costs associated with covered injuries you may have caused to other people in an accident that you caused while you were driving. Coverage can also pay for a legal defense if you're sued for that accident.
At a minimum, you need to purchase a policy with the bodily injury liability limits required by your state. However, the state-mandated minimum may not offer adequate protection. Discuss your bodily injury liability policy limits with your local independent agent or Travelers representative for guidance on the level of coverage that will suit your needs.
Liability coverage pays for property damage that you cause to other vehicles and property while you are driving. It can also pay for your legal defense if the other party files a lawsuit against you.
Your local independent agent or Travelers representative can help you select the amount of liability coverage that's right for you.
Collision coverage — or collision insurance — helps pay for damage to your vehicle, up to the policy limit, if you are in an accident with another vehicle or object, or if your vehicle rolls over.
The maximum you can recover under collision coverage is the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus the deductible. When selecting your deductible, it's important to consider what you can afford to pay should you need to file a claim.
To purchase collision coverage, you must also have comprehensive coverage. Collision is generally required if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle. Limits vary by state. Otherwise, coverage and limits are optional.
Medical payments coverage protects you and passengers in your vehicle who may be injured in an accident, no matter who is at fault. It also protects you as a pedestrian. Coverages vary by state, so be sure to check with your local independent agent or Travelers representative to verify what your policy covers.
Some states offer personal injury protection (PIP) in place of, or in addition to, medical payments coverage. Also known as “no-fault” insurance, personal injury protection may cover additional expenses related to injuries sustained in an accident, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages/income
Without medical payments/PIP coverage, you typically will need to pay the full cost of medical and related expenses out-of-pocket after an accident. Consider your risk tolerance and financial circumstances when choosing the level of protection that’s right for you and your family – then discuss your medical payments/PIP coverage needs and policy limits with your your local independent agent or Travelers representative.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance can help pay for damages and medical costs resulting from an accident caused by someone who has no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage. In some states, it may be offered as a combined coverage, while in other states it may be offered as two separate coverages (one for uninsured and another for underinsured motorists).
Coverage can extend to you and your family members that live with you. As a pedestrian, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, you can be covered.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage is required in some states.
Consider your risk tolerance and financial circumstances when choosing the level of protection that's right for you and your family, then discuss your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage needs and policy limits with your local independent agent or Travelers representative.
Loan/lease gap insurance is an optional coverage that can help pay off your car loan or lease if your car gets totaled or stolen and you owe more than the car's actual cash value.
Think of it this way: the value of a vehicle depreciates the minute you drive it off the lot. If you are financing or leasing your vehicle and it gets totaled in an accident or stolen and never recovered, you may owe more than the vehicle is worth.
For instance, if your car is worth $10,000 at the time it gets totaled in a covered incident but you still owe $15,000 on your loan or lease, loan/lease gap coverage could pay off the remaining $5,000 so you don’t have to settle the balance out-of-pocket.
Loan/lease gap coverage does not cover carry over balances, lease penalties, overdue payments or extended warranties. Also, you must be the original owner of the financed or leased vehicle, and the car must be purchased from a new car dealer — not a previous owner — to be eligible for this coverage.
Talk with your local independent agent or Travelers representative to explore whether this coverage is right for you.
It depends. It is important to review your coverage needs with your independent agent or Travelers representative on an annual basis, or whenever you make "after-market" modifications to your vehicle, to make sure that your policy coverage remains appropriate for your needs and budget.
To learn more about car insurance contact your local independent agent or Travelers representative today.
*Early Quote, EFT, New Car, Safe Driver, Continuous Insurance, Paid in Full, Payroll Deduction, Good Payer and Multi-Car Discounts are not available in CA.