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Car Insurance Terms That Every Driver Should Know

Like most insurance policies, auto coverage can be tricky. The terms that insurance companies and agents toss around can be mystifying. Learn these car insurance terms to get the best car insurance quotes, save money, and become a more informed driver.

Let's start with basic car insurance terms. All cars made in the U.S. after 1980 have a unique 17-digit vehicle identification number, or VIN, on the dashboard. This allows the vehicle to be tracked and identifies the year, make and model. The primary driver is the person who drives the car nearly all the time, while an occasional driver may only use it every now and then. Some drivers may be required by their state to carry an SR-22 certificate, verifying that the person driving the vehicle has liability coverage. The state's motor vehicle department will notify you if you need to carry one.

You also need to understand the difference between deductible and premium. A deductible is the amount you will be required to pay when you experience a loss – like a car accident. The insurance company will pay the remaining dollar amount after the deductible is paid. A premium is the price an insured person pays for a certain insurance plan for a certain period of time, usually monthly.

Now, let's get into some of the different types of insurance offered to drivers and the coverage they provide. Liability insurance provides money to someone who you cause harm to – either bodily injury or property damage – in the event of a car accident. It does not, however, provide money to you for any damage you may sustain. It's required in most states. Uninsured motorist insurance covers you if you are involved in an accident with someone who is at-fault and uninsured. Umbrella insurance policies give extra cushion to your car insurance by protecting your major assets if you are sued by someone. Emergency road service coverage is another insurance add-on that provides safety for someone who may be on the road a lot. It provides coverage if you are locked out of your car, have a flat, need a tow or run out of gas.

Finally, there are special programs for good drivers. Accident forgiveness is for people who haven't had an at-fault accident in the last five years, while good student discounts offer savings based on grades. To really understand different car insurance quotes, make sure to brush up on basic terms. Then, based on driving history and risk, each person must decide what kind of car insurance makes sense for them. Knowing and understanding this information can you put you ahead of the game when get car insurance quotes.

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