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Car insurance commercials allstate car

This article is about the Allstate insurance company. For other uses, see Allstate (disambiguation). Allstate Corporation
New india assurance car insurance calculator It's Good to Be in Good Hands
Type Public
Traded as NYSE: ALL
S&P 100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Insurance
Founded April 17, 1931; 86 years ago (1931-04-17)[1]
Headquarters Northfield Township, Illinois, U.S.
Key people Thomas J. Wilson
(Chairman, President and CEO)
Products Auto, Home, Life, Motorcycle, Renters, Boat, Landlord, Condo, Off-road vehicle, Business Insurance, Retirement and Investment products, and Banking services.
Revenue Gn car insurance US$ 36.534 billion (2016)[2]
Operating income Meloche monnex car insurance calgary US$ 2.749 billion (2016)[2]
Net income Szwaj car insurance US$ 1.877 billion (2016)[2]
Total assets 12 ways to save money on car insurance US$ 108.610 billion (2016)[2]
Total equity Leyland car insurance US$ 20.573 billion (2016)[2]
Number of employees 43,050 (2016)[3]
Parent Sears (1931–1995)[4]
Subsidiaries Encompass Insurance Company
Allstate India
Website www.allstate.com
Insurance rates per car model An Allstate agent in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

The Allstate Corporation is the second largest personal lines insurer in the United States (behind State Farm) and the largest that is publicly held. The company also has personal lines insurance operations in Canada. Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Co., and was spun off in 1993.[4] The company has had its headquarters in Northfield Township, Illinois, near Northbrook since 1967.[5][6] Its current advertising campaign, in use since 2004, asks, "Are you in good hands?" The corporate spokesperson is Dennis Haysbert.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Corporate leadership
    • 2.1 CEOs
    • 2.2 Current leadership
  • 3 Advertising
    • 3.1 "Good hands"
    • 3.2 "Allstate’s stand"
    • 3.3 Mayhem
    • 3.4 Social media
  • 4 Organization
  • 5 Sponsorship
    • 5.1 Allstate Arena
    • 5.2 College football
    • 5.3 Sugar Bowl
    • 5.4 Allstate Wrigleyville Classic
    • 5.5 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
    • 5.6 Soccer
    • 5.7 NASCAR
  • 6 Products available
    • 6.1 Insurance products
    • 6.2 Wealth transfer
    • 6.3 Financial products
  • 7 Environmental record
  • 8 Criticism
    • 8.1 Auto insurance claims
    • 8.2 Homeowners claims
    • 8.3 Catastrophe exposure management
    • 8.4 From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves
    • 8.5 Use of Colossus
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links


In 1925, Sears held a national contest to decide the name of a new brand of car tires. After over two million name submissions, "Allstate" was chosen as the winner; the trademark was adopted the very next year. The tires' success in both the catalog and retail stores prompted Sears Chairman General Robert E. Wood to praise the Allstate tire's contribution to Sears' retail store success.[1]

The idea for Allstate Insurance Company came during a bridge game on a commuter train in 1930, when insurance broker Carl L. Odell proposed to Wood, his neighbor, the idea of selling auto insurance by direct mail. The idea appealed to Wood, and he passed the proposal to the Sears board of directors, which approved it. Allstate Insurance Company, named after Sears’ tire brand, went into business on April 17, 1931, offering auto insurance by direct mail and through the Sears catalog.[7] This was in line with one of the objectives of a company to sell automobile insurance in the same manner as Sears sold its merchandise.[8]

Lessing J. Rosenwald was Allstate's first board chairman, and Odell was named vice president and secretary.[9]

In 1933, at the Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago, Allstate’s Richard E. Roskam sold insurance at a booth in the Sears pavilion. In 1934, Allstate opened its first permanent sales office in a Chicago Sears store.[10]

In 1941, only about a quarter of U.S. drivers had auto liability insurance. This led to the state of New York passing a law which established the financial responsibility of drivers for damage or injuries resulting from auto mishaps. That law inspired legislation in other states, and by the mid-1950s nearly every state had some sort of financial responsibility law on its books.[7]

In 1949 the Allstate Headquarters Building was completed at 3245 W. Arthington Street in Chicago.[11] The mid-rise building is currently vacant (as of 2013) and in danger of demolition. The building is noted for its early post-war mid-rise construction. This location was vacated at some point when the company relocated in the post-war years.

The company’s "You're in Good Hands with Allstate" slogan was created in 1950 by Allstate’s general sales manager Davis W. Ellis. At the end of the decade, it was used in the company's first network television advertising campaign, which featured actor Ed Reimers.[9]

Allstate added products throughout the 1950s, including fire insurance in 1954 and homeowners and life insurance in 1957. Allstate began selling insurance to Canadians in 1953. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada was incorporated in 1964.[7] (In 1952 and 1953, Sears also sold an automobile called Allstate.)

In 1967, the company's home office was moved from Skokie to Northbrook, Illinois. Allstate continued to sell additional types of insurance to customers throughout the decade, including worker's compensation insurance in 1964, surety bonds in 1966, inland-marine coverage in 1967 and a business package policy in 1969.[9]

The brand itself expanded in the 1950s and 1960s and could be found on a variety of products like fire extinguishers and motor scooters. In 1952, an Allstate car was produced, but it was a flop; it was pulled from stores by 1953. The Allstate brand was eventually limited to insurance, tires, and car batteries by the late 1960s before becoming insurance-only in the mid-1970s.[1] In 1991, the company went public[4] before becoming completely independent in 1995.[1]

In 1984, Neighborhood Office Agent program was introduced to make agents more accessible to customers

In 1985, Allstate began to move agents out of Sears stores and locate agents in neighborhood offices. In June 1993, 19.8 percent of Allstate became public through a stock offering. Allstate became completely independent in June 1995, when Sears spun off the remaining 80 percent stake in the company, distributing 350.5 million shares of Allstate stock to its stockholders.[7]

In 1993, Allstate went public when Sears sells 19.8% of the company. At the time, it was the largest IPO to date.

In 1996, their website www.allstate.com was launched.

In 1999, Allstate unveiled a new business model that created a single contract for exclusive, independent agents selling Allstate insurance. It also created a network of call centers.

In 1999, Allstate purchased the personal lines division of CNA Financial[12] and subsequently renamed it to Encompass Insurance Company which is written by independent insurance agents, as opposed to the direct writing that constitutes the core part of its business.[13]

In 2003, actor Dennis Haysbert became Allstate’s spokesman, using the tagline "That’s Allstate’s stand."[14]

In 2010 the actor Dean Winters became a part of Allstate’s campaign "Mayhem" “personifying the pitfalls, like collisions and storm damage, that can befall drivers”.

In 2012 Allstate Solutions Private Limited (also called Allstate India) was inaugurated in Bangalore which is a technology and operations centre to provides software development and business process outsourcing services to its US parent. [15] Allstate's Bangalore operation is focused on the areas of business intelligence, analytics, testing and mobility.

Corporate leadership



Since going public in 1993:

  • Thomas J. Wilson (2007–present)
  • Edward Liddy (1999–2006)
  • Jerry D. Choate (1995–1999)
  • Wayne E. Hedien (1993–1994)

Current leadership

  • Thomas J Wilson - Chairman, CEO, The Allstate Corporation
  • Matthew Winter - President, The Allstate Corporation and CEO, Allstate Life Insurance
  • Don Civgin - President, Emerging Business
  • Thomas Clarkson - President, Allstate West Territory, Allstate Personal Lines
  • Mary Jane Fortin - President, Allstate Life and Retirement
  • Sanjay Gupta - Executive VP, Marketing, Innovation and Corporate Relations
  • Suren Gupta - Executive VP Allstate Technology & Strategic Ventures
  • Harriet Harty - Executive VP, Human Resources
  • Guy Hill - Executive VP, Product Integration & Management
  • Susan Lees - Executive VP, General Counsel, Secretary
  • Katherine Mabe - Executive VP, Allstate Brand Distribution
  • David Prendergast - President, Allstate East Territory
  • Glenn Shapiro - Executive VP, Claims
  • Steven E. Shebik - Executive VP, CFO, Interim Chief Investment Officer
  • Steven P. Sorenson - Executive VP, Product Operations


"Good hands"

Allstate's slogan "You're in good hands" was created in the 1950s by Allstate Insurance Company's sales executive, Davis W. Ellis based on a similar phrase he used to reassure his wife about a doctor caring for their child. It has been the slogan ever since 1950. Allstate also referred to themselves as the Good Hands People.

In the 1960s and 1970s, TV, print and radio advertising featured Allstate’s spokesman, Ed Reimers. Reimers was often shown making the cupped-hand gesture. For 22 years, he remained the spokesman.[17]

A study in 2000 by Northwestern University's Medill Graduate Department of Integrated Marketing Communications found that the Allstate slogan "You're in good hands" ranked as the most recognizable in America.[18]

"Allstate’s stand"

Beginning in 2003, as policy growth slowed, Allstate’s television commercials used spokesman Dennis Haysbert. The ads were intended to carry the message that Allstate's service was superior to that from low-cost providers Geico and Progressive.[19] Haysbert appeared in more than 250 commercials between 2003 and 2016.


Beginning in 2010, Allstate used Dean Winters as "Mayhem", mean to personify the hazards drivers face. The ads conclude with Haysbert asking "Are You In Good Hands?"[20]

Social media

In January 2011, Allstate released The Lines,[21] a multi-episode TV drama web series starring actors Teresa Cesario, Kyle Sandgate-Blix, Jackson Schultz, Bridgette Pechman, Chase Maser, and Corey Doyle cast as High-School seniors. The series, filmed in the style of a television drama, depicts the cast in common situations facing teens with respect to driving (Texting while driving in particular). The series appears aimed at promoting interest and support in favor of responsible teen driving and road-safety in general. The Lines spans a total of 8 episodes, each 6–8 minutes in length. Allstate and other large corporations are attracted to the rapid growth of social media for use in their advertising campaigns.


Allstate Corporation owns and operates 18 companies around the United States, Canada and India.[22]

Based in San Francisco, California

  • Esurance, Inc.

Based in Northbrook, Illinois

  • Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company
  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • Allstate Indemnity Company
  • Allstate Life Insurance Company
  • Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company
  • Encompass Insurance Company

Based in Bridgewater, New Jersey

  • Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company
  • Allstate New Jersey Property and Casualty Insurance Company

Based in Hauppauge, New York

  • Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York

Based in St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Castle Key Insurance Company
  • Castle Key Indemnity Company

Based in Irving, Texas

  • Allstate County Mutual Insurance Company
  • Allstate Texas Lloyd's

Based in Jacksonville, Florida

  • American Heritage Life Insurance Company

Based in Markham, Ontario

  • Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Based in Bangalore, India

  • Allstate Solutions Private Limited

Based in Pune, India

  • Allstate Solutions Private Limited


Allstate Arena

Main article: Allstate Arena

Allstate holds naming rights to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, near the company's headquarters.

College football

Allstate sponsors branded field goal nets at over 67 colleges and universities. For each field goal and extra point kicked, Allstate donates into collegiate general scholarship funds. To date, those donations exceed $2.9 million. Allstate also sponsors branded nets during field goals and extra points at over 20 college bowl games, including the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the BCS National Championship Game.

Additionally, Allstate is a partner of the Southeastern Conference and its 20 sports, including football.[23]

Sugar Bowl

Since 2007, Allstate has been the title sponsor of the Sugar Bowl, one of the four games that make up the Bowl Championship Series. The game is played at the Louisiana Superdome, which is also the home of the New Orleans Saints. Allstate is also a sponsor of the New Orleans Saints.

The 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game was played on January 9, 2012 and broadcast on ESPN.

Allstate Wrigleyville Classic

The Northwestern Wildcats and the Illinois Fighting Illini played a collegiate football game at Wrigley Field on November 20, 2010. It was the first football game at Wrigley Field since 1970 and the first collegiate football game at Wrigley Field since 1938 when DePaul University played its regular games at Wrigley.[9] Allstate title sponsored this game.[24]

Allstate AFCA Good Works Team

Allstate advertises through the American Football Coaches Association "Good Works Team" in which local Allstate agents surprise players with trophies in key Allstate marketing regions.


In 2007, Allstate became a sponsor of the Mexico National Team, and in 2011 partnered with Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation.[25]


Allstate was a sponsor of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from 2005-2009 – the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late summer.[26] Driver Kasey Kahne was featured in advertisements.

Products available

Allstate is the largest publicly traded property casualty insurance company in the US.[27] Products include:

Insurance products

Asset protection: auto insurance, homeowners insurance, condominium, renters, scheduled personal property, business umbrella, commercial auto, commercial inland marine, small business owner, customizer and business package policy, landlord package, manufactured home, mobile home, motor home, motorcycle, boat, personal umbrella, comprehensive personal liability, recreational vehicle, off-road vehicle, motor club, loan protection and flood protection.

Wealth transfer

Estate planning products, business succession planning products, fixed survivorship life, and variable survivorship life family protection insurance, term life, universal life, variable universal life, long-term care and supplemental health

Financial products

Asset management and accumulation, life insurance and retirement

Environmental record

Allstate has a Sustainability Leadership Team composed of officers and senior staff from all areas of the company. The team focuses on sustainability efforts from a company-wide perspective — including environmental initiatives that embed “green” programs and processes throughout their operations.[28]


In July 2008, the American Association for Justice ranked Allstate No. 1 among nation's worst insurers. This ranking was given because: “While Allstate publicly touts its ‘good hands’ approach, it has instead privately instructed its agents to employ a ‘boxing gloves’ strategy against its policyholders,” said American Association for Justice CEO Jon Haber. They've since revamped their approach.[29] Allstate criticized the report, with a spokesman noting that "The personal injury lawyers behind this report provide no support for their statements other than decade old recycled allegations that have been shown to be without merit in courts of law." [30] In 2009 Allstate successfully fought to obtain Federal government TARP fund eligibility only to decline it once they obtained eligibility.[31]

Auto insurance claims

An investigative report in February 2007 by CNN found that major car insurance companies, like Allstate, are increasingly fighting auto insurance claims from those who incurred injuries by their insured members.[32] Allstate currently commands 18% of the auto insurance market in the United States.[33]

Homeowners claims

The PBS television program Now,[34] in conjunction with Bloomberg Markets magazine, did an exposé regarding Allstate and other major insurers' homeowners insurance policies.

Catastrophe exposure management

Allstate has stated intentions of reducing its exposure in hurricane-prone Florida. In November 2006, Allstate did not renew 120,000 policies that were expiring at that time. Governor Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet passed a 90-day emergency order to temporarily prevent insurance companies from nonrenewing policies.[35] On February 20, 2007, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty clarified the order, stating that insurance companies can nonrenew policies if they satisfy certain conditions, including filing new, lower rates with the state and give customers 100 days’ notice.[36]

From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves

This is the title of a book written by David Berardinelli, JD;, Michael Freeman, PhD, DC, MPH; and Aaron DeShaw, DC, JD with a foreword by Eugene R. Anderson.[37]

The book relates profit-boosting strategies that consulting firm McKinsey & Company presented to Allstate to maximize profits and diminish the amount of money sent to clients who put in a claim. McKinsey specializes in redesigning product delivery systems for Fortune 100 companies (including controversial clients such as Enron) to maximize profits. McKinsey’s recommendation to Allstate, according to Berardinelli, was to low-ball claims so that desperate customers in dire straits would be more likely to accept a settlement offer while Allstate continued to make a profit and collect interest on the insurance payment. Allstate would offer its "good hands" in the way of a low-ball claim and, if the customer did not accept, to get out "boxing gloves." [38]

The book was reviewed by Business Week magazine.[39] According to that article, Allstate responded to Berardinelli's allegations by claiming that Berardinelli's allegations were "unfounded and unproven." Rather than trying to cheat customers, the company stated that its major goal was to benefit policyholders by identifying "exaggerated and fraudulent claims" and that its "processes are absolutely sound . . . to investigate, evaluate, and promptly resolve each claim fairly, based on the merits."[39]

Court decisions on the issues debated by Berardinelli and Allstate have gone both ways. According to the Business Week article, as of 2006, "Courts and regulators in a number of states, including New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, have forced Allstate to halt or change its practice of handing out a controversial 'Do I Need an Attorney?' form to people involved in accidents." On the other hand, the article also states that "Although plaintiffs have had piecemeal success in bad-faith cases against Allstate, the insurer points to seven court rulings that have rejected attacks on CCPR. Last December a Montana state court noted that while CCPR practices may be illegal 'if misapplied in a particular case, they nevertheless are neutral with no manifestly illegal purpose.'" While many of the cost-reduction strategies McKinsey recommended at Allstate remain in place, some have been reined in following legal and regulatory challenges in several states.[39]

Use of Colossus

Many criticisms leveled against Allstate (and other insurers), including Barardinelli's book, involved the use of a software program called "Colossus" to process claims. In 2010, Allstate paid a $10 million fine to settle a lawsuit brought by 41 states concerning inconsistencies in the manner in which Colossus was used. It also agreed to standardize its use of the software. However, “it is important to note that we found no systemic underpayment of bodily injury claims,” New York Insurance Superintendent James J. Wrynn said in a press release.[40]

See also

  • Chicago portal
  • Illinois portal
  • Companies portal
  • Allstate Arena
  • List of United States insurance companies
  • Allstate Northern Ireland


  1. ^ a b c d "Allstate: 1996-1995 (Sears' divestment)". Sears. 2006-10-31. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "2014 4th Quarter Investor Information". Yahoo Finance. Yahoo. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "Allstate Facts and Figures". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 10 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "Allstate Newsroom - History and Timeline Page". Allstate. 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  5. ^ "Contact Us." Allstate. Retrieved on August 9, 2010.
  6. ^ "Northbrook village, Illinois." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 9, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d "Encyclopedia- Allstate Corp.". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  8. ^ “Arnstein & Lehr, The First 120 Years”, (Louis A. Lehr, Jr.)(Amazon), p. 26
  9. ^ a b c "Funding Universe- The Allstate Corporation- Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  10. ^ "Allstate Insurance Company Digital Newsroom - History and Timeline". Allstate. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  11. ^ "7 buildings make Preservation Chicago most endangered list". Chicago Tribune. 2013-03-13. 
  12. ^ "Allstate, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 12, 1999". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Allstate, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Nov 13, 2000". secdatabase.com. Retrieved Jan 4, 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Most Popular Car Insurance Spokespeople & Mascots". Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  15. ^ "Allstate to open tech centre in Bangalore". The Economic Times. 
  16. ^ "Allstate Insurance Company Digital Newsroom - Senior Management Team". Allstate. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  17. ^ McLellan, Dennis (2008-08-18). "Ed Reimers dies at 96; Allstate placed ad campaign in his hands". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  18. ^ "2000 Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame". 2000. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  19. ^ Howard, Theresa (2004-08-15). "Presidential Allstate ads counter the gecko". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  20. ^ Elliott, Stuart (2000). "Allstate Adds Villain, With Car Insurance as the Hero". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  21. ^ Allstate produced tv drama web series "The Lines" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXPWdqaiGeY
  22. ^ "Allstate Insurance". Allstate.com. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  23. ^ "Allstate Proud Sponsor of College Football". Allstate.com. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  24. ^ "Allstate to sponsor NU-Illinois Wrigley Field game". Chicago Breaking News Sports. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  25. ^ "Score with Soccer Sponsorships". AllstateNewsroom.com. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  26. ^ "Allstate Not Returning to Indianapolis". NASCAR.com. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  27. ^ "Allstate Insurance LinkedIn Page". LinkedIn.com. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  28. ^ "Allstate Insurance Environment Key Performance Indicators and Goals". Allstate.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  29. ^ Wemple, Erik (9 July 2008). "Allstate Gets a Spanking". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  30. ^ Phoenix Business Journal: "American Association of Justice ranks Allstate No. 1 among nation's worst insurers"
  31. ^ "Allstate: No thanks to TARP money". money.cnn.com. May 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  32. ^ In some cases, Allstate proposed settlement amounts as small as $50, asking claimants to "take it or leave it". The investigative report found that insurance companies often make it so expensive and time consuming to go to court to get full settlement amounts, that it would not be worth the victims time. The claims handled in the matter were very minor collision type losses that did not result in any ($0) damage to the car, and therefore was the insurance company protecting it assets and the premium paying public money, by keeping rates as low as possible."Auto insurers play hardball in minor-crash claims". CNN. 2007-02-09. 
  33. ^ "A Good Deal on Auto Insurance: How to Find the Best Affordable Coverage". AutoInsuranceTips.com. 
  34. ^ Now - PBS (2007-08-17). "Home Insurance 9-1-1". PBS.org. Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  35. ^ Garcia, Beatrice E. (2007-02-21). "Date set for insurance rate filings; Insurers can resume policy cancellations as soon as they file required rate reductions in mid-March". The Miami Herald. 
  36. ^ Zucco, Tom (2007-02-20). "Ruling: Insurers can drop policies". St. Petersburg Times. 
  37. ^ David, Berardinelli; Freeman, Michael (2008). From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves: How Allstate Changed Casualty Insurance in America. Trial Guides. ISBN 0-9743248-9-2. 
  38. ^ "Allstate, State Farm, Other Bad Faith Insurance Companies Rack up Record Profits by Cheating Customers". Newsinferno.com. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  39. ^ a b c "In Tough Hands At Allstate". Business Week. 2006-05-01. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  40. ^ Allstate Will Pay $10 Million, The Buffalo News(Buffalo, NY:October 19, 2010) http://www.buffalonews.com/business/article224099.ece

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Questions about car insurance coverageThe ACE Car Insurance Company (ACE Limited Group) is a worldwide insurer and reinsurer with assets in the billions. The headquarters of ACE Limted Group is in Zurich, Switzerland. ACE specializes in providing high risk commercial insurance. Click here to read the full ACE Car Insurance review.

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Hit the road with the right car insurance policy

Auto insurance is a must if you own a car. Most states require you to carry insurance, and without it, you face financial disaster if you cause a serious accident and get sued.

Car insurance can also pay to repair your vehicle if it gets damaged in a crash or natural disaster, like hail or wildfire, or is vandalized or stolen.

Car insurance coverage types

One policy can include several types of coverage.

Liability insurancepays for others' damage and injuries when you cause an accident. Most states require you to carry at least a minimum level of bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. See states minimum car insurance requirements.

The coverage limits are expressed as three numbers. Limits of 25/50/25, for example, would provide up to $25,000 per person injured in an accident, up to $50,000 of coverage for injuries per accident and $25,000 for property damage per accident. Remember, liability insurance pays out to other people; it does not cover you, your passengers or your car.

Personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage pays the medical bills for you and your passengers after a car accident, regardless of who caused the crash. PIP also covers lost wages and funeral costs. Some states require you to buy PIP or MedPay.

Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM)comes to the rescue if you're hit by a driver who has no insurance or not enough coverage. UM pays your medical bills if you're injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. UIM kicks in if your medical expenses exceed the other driver's liability coverage limits. UM and UIM are required in some states.

Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD)covers your car if an uninsured driver hits you, but the coverage isn't available in every state. Roughly one in eight drivers is uninsured, according to a 2014 Insurance Research Council report.

Collision coverage pays to repair your own vehicle after a crash. It's an optional form of coverage, although your car-loan lender might require you to have it. Collision will kick in if you hit a tree, for example. Or, if an uninsured driver hits you and you don't have UMPD, you could make a collision claim for your car's repairs. Any collision payment will be reduced by the amount of your collision deductible.

Comprehensive coverage has a misleading name because it applies only to certain circumstances. It pays out if your car is stolen (and not recovered) or damaged by a natural disaster, if you hit an animal or if your car is vandalized. Like collision, comprehensive is optional, but your lender might require it. Here too, a comprehensive claim payment will be reduced by the amount of your deductible.

Roadside assistance and other extras can come in handy in a pinch. Roadside assistance covers towing and emergency roadside service when your car breaks down. Rental reimbursement pays for a rental car while your car is in the shop after a covered accident. Gap coverage kicks in if the insurer declares your car a total loss, and the payout from the insurance company for the vehicle's actual cash value is less than the amount you owe on the car loan. See: Save yourself some car insurance grief: Buy gap coverage.

How car insurance rates are set

The price you pay for car insurance depends on the type and amount of coverage you buy, the deductible for collision and comprehensive insurance, the kind of vehicle you own and the characteristics of you and the other drivers listed on the policy. Here are the most and least expensive 2016 vehicles to insure.

Factors that insurers generally consider when setting your rate include:

  • Your driving record. Speeding tickets and other infractions increase premiums.
  • Your accident and claims history. There's no point trying to hide your previous problem. Insurers will access your C.L.U.E. report to find out your claims for the past seven years.
  • Your credit record. A good credit history helps keep premiums low. Insurers say there is a link between spotty credit history and the likelihood of filing claims. Not all states allow credit to be a factor in auto insurance pricing.
  • Your age. Rates are highest for teenagers because they are risky drivers. Their crash rate per mile driven is about three times that of drivers age 20 and older, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Rates begin to drop around age 25, and you'll likely enjoy the best rates in your 50s and early 60s.
  • Your sex. Young women usually qualify for lower rates than young men, but the difference diminishes with age.
  • Where you live. Car insurance rates vary widely by state and also by ZIP code. Insurers base rates on where the car is garaged.
  • How much you drive. Your daily commute and annual mileage will affect your rate. The more your car is on the road, the greater your chance for a claim.

Shopping for auto insurance

Consider your assets when deciding how much liability insurance to buy. The state minimum requirements for coverage are too low for many people. Collision and comprehensive insurance are important for newer vehicles but usually aren't cost-effective for clunkers.

Shop around for car insurance quotes - rates, policy options and customer service vary by insurer. Insure.com's customer satisfaction ratings reveal which insurers get the highest marks.

And make sure you take advantage of discounts in order to lower your bill. Typical discounts include those for multiple vehicles on a policy, auto safety features, antitheft devices and good students. You might also be able to get a discount for paying in full, buying home insurance with the same insurer, or being a customer for a few years or more.

Do you need PIP or MedPay coverage? By Penny Gusner, Insure.com / Apr. 3, 2017 RELATED ARTICLES
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