As a responsible car owner, you’ll want to carry car insurance to protect yourself and your investment. That doesn’t mean you have to pay exorbitant car insurance premiums. With a little time and research, you can find a car insurance company and agent that fits your needs and budget. Here’s how to find cheap car insurance in Gary, Indiana.
What Are the Main Car Insurance Categories?
Four main categories of car insurance coverage are available to drivers in Gary, Indiana. How much coverage you carry and the amount of each type of coverage depend on your needs and budget.
Liability coverage is mandated in many states, including Indiana. There are two aspects to liability insurance, bodily injury and property damage. The bodily injury portion covers medical bills to the other driver or passengers if you’re found at fault in an accident. The property damage component would pay for repairs or replacement of any property involved in the accident, excluding your vehicle.
Insurance that covers your vehicle for repairs or replacement should you hit another object, such as another vehicle or a fence, is called collision coverage. Collision is optional coverage unless you have a lease or lien on your vehicle. Your lending institution may require you to carry collision coverage to protect the investment. Collision will include a deductible, an amount you agree to pay out of pocket before insurance coverage. The amount of your deductible will affect your premium.
Another optional insurance coverage is comprehensive, which protects your vehicle against damages from natural disasters such as hail, theft, and vandalism. Comprehensive coverage also includes a deductible that will affect your premium and is often required by lending agents if you have a lease or lien on your vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Not all drivers on the road carry automobile insurance, and some have the bare minimum, which may not cover all damages incurred in an accident. With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance policy steps in to cover the discrepancy. For at-fault drivers without insurance, your policy will cover your medical bills. Underinsured covers the difference between the at-fault driver’s policy and the cost of your medical bills. For example, if you have $30,000 in medical bills and the driver carries $25,000 in coverage, your insurance pays the additional $5,000 as long as it’s within your policy limits.
What Is the Mandatory Insurance Requirement in Indiana?
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles mandates that all drivers on the road carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability insurance, along with $25,000 per accident of property damage liability insurance. Indiana also requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage for the same amounts and underinsured motorist coverage of $50,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. As a driver in Indiana, you can reject the uninsured/underinsured portions in writing, but the liability coverage is mandatory for everyone.
Penalties for driving without adequate insurance in Indiana include:
- First offense: 90-day suspension of driving privileges
- Second offense: One-year driver’s license suspension and $500 fine with SR-22 requirement imposed for three years
- Third and subsequent offenses: One-year driver’s license suspension, $1,000 reinstatement fee, and SR-22 requirement for five years
SR-22 insurance is a statement of financial responsibility that you obtain through your car insurance company. It is not insurance coverage but does cost you an annual premium and verifies that you have sufficient insurance to drive in Indiana.
What Factors Determine Car Insurance Premiums?
Car insurance premiums are affected by several factors, including your age, driving history, traffic offense history, location, credit score, and type of vehicle. While most of these factors are out of your control, you can lower your overall car insurance premium in a variety of ways, including:
- Increase your deductible. The amount of your deductible directly correlates with your premium; the higher the deductible, the lower your premium.
- Carry minimum insurance coverage. If you have a vehicle that’s paid off or older, you may want to consider only carrying the state-mandated liability insurance to save money on your annual premium.
- Look for discounts. Most car insurance companies offer discounts for various reasons, including multiple policies, multiple vehicles, good driver, good student, and vehicle safety equipment.
- Take a driving class. You can usually lower your premium by completing a driver’s education or defensive driving course.
- Avoid traffic violations. Slow down and keep your eyes on the road to avoid traffic violations such as speeding tickets or accidents.
- Increase your credit score. Pay your bills on time, reduce the total amount owed, or consider consolidating debt to improve your credit score.
Where Can You Find Cheap Car Insurance in Gary, Indiana?
The average driver in Indiana pays $1,068 annually for car insurance, according to U.S. News & World Report. As compared to the national average of $1,321 per year, Indiana drivers pay 19% less in premiums. If you’re looking to carry the minimum car insurance required, the following companies offer drivers in Gary, Indiana, the best deals:
- USAA: $559
- GEICO: $673
- State Farm: $789
- Progressive: $801
- Travelers: $1,021
- American Family Insurance: $1,189
- Indiana Farm Bureau: $1,225
- Nationwide: $1,252
- Farmers: $1,308
- Allstate: $1,455
As you can see, the difference in annual premiums for the same driver, same vehicle, and same coverage can vary by almost $1,000. You’ll want to research the various car insurance agents and companies to ensure you get the best deal on cheap car insurance. When shopping for coverage, get a few quotes to compare premiums and discounts available.
Car insurance coverage is a great way to protect yourself and your investment. If you’re at fault in an accident in and around Gary, Indiana, you can be held liable for any bodily injury and property damage. Car insurance can protect you from those unexpected expenses. Talk to your car insurance agent about the amount of coverage best suited for your needs and your budget.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.