Insurance in the USA. Car insurance in California

1. Types of policies

In principle, everything becomes clear if you say two words: MTPL and CASCO.

The principle of operation of the Russian MTPL and CASCO is taken entirely from the insurance system in the USA.

In this part of the comprehensive in CASCO in some states is optional, but in California, it needs to be included. 

2. Parameters affecting the cost of the policy

What parameters are taken into account when calculating the cost of the policy for you personally:

• age (up to 25 years insurance is significantly more expensive, since the insured driver in the category is the young driver and, according to statistics, most accidents are made by people under 26 years old, so the coefficients are increased for this category of persons)

• availability of local rights (if you are a resident of the state, then you must have local rights, plus insurance is much cheaper with them)

• driving experience (even the one who was in another country counts for as long as you need to send a copy of the rights)

• availability of higher education (discounts up to 10% if there is a VO (especially if you are an engineer)

• availability of stable work and high income

• marital status and having children

• type of the insured car, its age, and price, availability of a pledge for a car (credit/leasing is 10–30% more expensive)

• availability of anti-theft systems

• the presence of a garage (with it insurance can go cheaper)

• credit history

• driving history (were there any penalties for the last year, how many points for violations were removed, this item is most affected, as it characterizes you as a driver)

• the presence of a certificate of the school of emergency driving (in fact, online re-read the brochure with the rules, can help knock out a discount of a couple of dollars)

• the state where you live and you will use the car (where the accident rate by states is taken into account)

• the county in which you live (again the accident rate by county, the median income of people living in the county and other less obvious parameters)

• indicators of insurance premium payments for the previous year, for example, because of hurricanes on the East Coast in the winter of 2016 and a large number of payments, insurance companies increased policy prices from June 2016 for all states.

Next, let's talk about the limits in coverage. 

3. Limits and conditions of payments

California in 2017 defined the following minimum limits for driver liability coverage (California Insurance Code §11580.1b):

• $ 15,000 - damage/death of one person

• $ 30,000 - damage/death of two or more persons

• $ 5,000 - damage to property

But! Of course, these minimum values ​​are not enough, since only one appeal of the victim with a small fracture will be more than $ 15,000, and payment for pain is necessary (moral damage can be 3 times higher than the hospital bill), payment of physical disability (sick leave, calculated by day based on the daily salary of the victim). Plus payment of lawyers, a fine, payment of damage to the property of the victim, etc. Naturally, the minimum coverage for this is not enough and the person will owe a huge amount of money. And then either sell everything or take out a loan. Plus, their own car will also be broken and it will have to either be disposed of for your money or sold without repair. Therefore, it is better not to save money on this and find a good CASCO with high limits.

With CASCO easier, the most optimal is the limits $ 150.000 / $ 300.000 (damage to one person/damage to several people), uninsured motorist liability for $ 150.000, damage to property for the same amount, comprehensive for $ 50.000.

In addition to the limits of sums in the coverage still, need to pay attention to how much you pay from your pocket before the insurance begins to pay its main part. This amount is called the deductible. It can be either fixed ($ 100, $ 250, $ 500, $ 1000, etc.) or as a percentage of the final payout amount (much cheaper when paying for insurance, but in the end, it can turn against you).

That is, upon the occurrence of an insured event, you will need to pay out of your pocket a sum of, say, $ 200 in order for the rest to be covered by your insurance. A simple situation, you parked the car on the street, a certain asocial element decides to profit from something from your car and breaks the glass, opens the glove compartment, digs there and hides. You come in a couple of hours and see this disgrace. Your actions: compile the police report (the application to the police, most often online), take a photo, online from your personal account you submit a claim (claim insurance payment, describe the situation, attach the photo, the number of the application to the police). If you have comprehensive coverage - you are good, your insurance will cover the repair of your car and valuables missing from the glove box/car. Then you come to an authorized insurance repair center, where the service bills say for $ 1000, plus things for $ 500 are missing. You have under the terms of the policy deductible - $ 200. This means that you will now pay $ 200 out of your pocket, and the remaining $ 1,300 will be covered by insurance. Regarding the choice of auto repair shops, you can turn to your favorite service, but then all the negotiations about what to repair and for how much, you have to carry on with the insurance itself with the application of all accounts and not the fact that the insurance will cover everything.

A similar calculation, if an accident occurs, your insurance compensates the damage to the injured party minus the deductible, and if there is coverage for you and your car, then you will repair it.

There is also the concept of total damage, this is when the insurance decides that the car is inappropriate to recover and pays an amount equal to the cost of the car on the market at the time of the accident. All costs for the disposal, storage, and transportation of such auto insurance assumes (but it also depends on the company where the policy was purchased, not all insurance behave so well). If you decide to keep the car yourself, then its status changes to salvaged and you must buy it from the insurance for an amount equal to the residual value of this car after the accident. Insurance deducts this amount from the payment for your car. But there will be another question, what will you do with it ... Not all salvaged cars can be registered after repair. 

4. Where to buy auto insurance?

You can go to sites - aggregators, drive in data, SSN number and get quotas. Then on the site of insurance to issue a policy.

You can contact the agent who can find suitable insurance with discounts and further advise on issues related to it. The word of mouth is already working here, since finding a good agent is easier through acquaintances.

Well, the option in the forehead, ask around friends who have some insurance, impressions and go to the insurance site. But this is far from a guarantee that the price you will have is the same low since everything is very individual. Discounts may even be for the fact that you also insured a house in the same company.

In any case, everything is done via telephone and regular email. Even if no luck and accident happened.