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Ask an Agent-Understanding Your Auto Policies- Part 2

Although you are required to buy car insurance in order to register a vehicle, often times we don’t think about the coverage we’ve selected until we actually have to file a claim and use the coverage we’ve purchased. Do you understand what’s covered in your auto insurance policy? You’re not alone if you find some of the language inside of it confusing. Georgia Farm Bureau agent Casey Ryals explains some of the language that can be found inside your own policy.

Rental Reimbursement

Rental Reimbursement coverage is important if you do not have access to another vehicle in the event your vehicle is in the shop being repaired after a covered loss.  Rental Reimbursement coverage helps pay the cost to rent a vehicle during this time.  If you would be stranded without your primary vehicle, this is an important coverage.  

 Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance is included with every GFB policy.  It’s a lifesaver if you have to be towed; lock your keys in the car and have to call a locksmith; or even if you have to call for help with a flat tire.  A network of service providers is just a phone call away.

 Medical Payments

Medical Payments  insurance covers minor medical expenses incurred by you or someone riding in your vehicle when in an automobile accident.  We usually think of this as helping with an Emergency Room visit or paying some co-pays or deductibles when you or your passengers are hurt.  You are covered regardless of who is at fault; this is a great way to help you or a family member who was hurt in your vehicle.

 Liability only vs. Liability and Physical Damage Coverage

There are really two main components in an automobile insurance policy. Automobile Liability and Automobile Physical Damage.  Most vehicle owners need both!  Automobile Liability is what covers the bodily injury and property damage you are legally required to pay to another individual.  This is your “Financial Responsibility” when you are ‘at fault” in an accident.  Physical Damage coverage  pays you when your vehicle when it is damaged.  This is commonly known as Collision and Other-than-Collision (aka Comprehensive) coverage.   Everyone needs Automobile Liability coverage to register and drive a vehicle.  This is required by Georgia Financial Responsibility laws.  While the law only required Automobile Liability, it would often be wise to purchase Physical Damage coverage as well.

Physical Damage coverage is important if you stand to lose significant value if an owned vehicle is damaged or stolen.  If you have a vehicle worth very little and had to replace it, most people would be able to recover financially in time.  However, if you had (for example) a $40,000 vehicle and a $38,000 loan and had to replace it AND pay back the loan, it may take a long time to recover.  Without Physical Damage coverage, you would still owe  $38,000 to the bank AND have to purchase another vehicle. 


Content provided by Hall County Farm Bureau Agency Manager, J. Casey Ryals