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FAQ Auto Insurance

Do I need to purchase insurance before I buy a new car?
If this is your first car, yes, you'll have to buy auto insurance before you drive your shiny new car off the dealer's lot. If you are financing the purchase, the lender will require that you buy a policy with comprehensive and collision coverages. Not all states require the purchase of liability coverage, however, but your Spirit representative can give you all that information.

If you have owned a vehicle and already have an auto insurance policy, that will generally cover your new automobile for a period of up to 30 days after you buy it. Once that 30-day period is up, you'll have to talk with your Spirit representative to insure that new vehicle.

What should I do if I just had an auto accident?
You should inform your insurance company right away. Make sure you've gotten a copy of the police report and the other party's insurance information. Remember, just because you inform your insurer of an accident doesn't mean you're making a claim.

I've just been in an accident. How will the insurer issue the check to repair my car?
It depends on whether or not you're in a first-party or third-party claim situation. In a first-party situation, when the claim is being paid by your insurer, the check will most likely be made out to you and the body shop. In a third-party situation, when the claim is being paid by the other driver's insurer, it's likely that the check will be made payable to you alone.

What can I do to protect myself against uninsured drivers?
Purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage can protect you against uninsured drivers. In many states, UM coverage is required by law. UM coverage will pay for medical bills and pain and suffering if you are hit by an uninsured driver. If your car is crunched by an uninsured driver and you have UM property-damage coverage, you'll be able to get your car fixed under this coverage, rather than using your collision coverage. Generally speaking, UM property-damage coverage carries a lower deductible than collision coverage.

Which coverages pay for damages to my vehicle?
Depending on what kind of damage your car suffers, one of your physical damage coverages - comprehensive or collision insurance - will pay for the damages. If your car is hit by a deer or other animal, stolen, catches on fire, or is vandalized, your comprehensive coverage will kick in. If you crash into something and crunch your car, your collision coverage will kick in. Both of these coverages are optional and, of course, adding them to your policy will raise your insurance premium.

How do you reduce the cost of collision coverage?
You can do one of two things: raise your deductible or drop your coverage. The deductible is what you pay out of your own pocket before your insurance policy kicks in. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 on collision coverage could reduce your premium by as much as 30 percent.

Collision coverage is generally not worth purchasing on older vehicles with high mileage because if you ever file a claim for significant damages, your insurance company will likely declare your vehicle a total loss rather than fix it. That's because the cost of fixing your vehicle far exceeds its market value. The value you get for the vehicle in the total loss may not justify the premiums you pay for the collision coverage.

Can I demand original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts in the repair of my vehicle?
Yes, you can always request original equipment manufacturer parts after you've had an accident.

Should I expect my premium to rise if I reported an accident to my insurance company in which I was not found at fault?
It is unlikely you would see a premium increase solely because you were in an accident in which another person was at fault. However, you may receive a premium increase if that accident was one of several you have had throughout the year or in recent years.

I just got a speeding ticket. How much will it affect my auto insurance premium?

If it was your first ticket, you might not see any change in your rates. We cannot tell you whether your auto insurance premium will increase, or by how much. Insurers are not allowed to raise your rates after just one speeding ticket or other citation.

Even if you have received speeding tickets in the past, different companies have different practices when it comes to raising premiums. A Lighthouse representative will review all of your options with you once you have selected a carrier.

"Please refer to your policy declarations page as special terms, conditions And exclusions may apply."

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