How Do I Choose the Right Car Insurance Coverage?



Certainly, you have seen those T.V. car insurance commercials that advertise “pay for what you need.” I think we can all agree that no one wants to pay more than they have to for auto insurance. But how do you know “what you need”? Most people are not clairvoyant or an auto insurance expert. 

Working at the front desk of an auto body repair facility has given me the opportunity to see how this plays out in real life. Customers who are not adequately covered are stressed and worried about added out of pocket expenses.

Here Are Some Real Deal Situations:

  • The accident is your fault and your car insurance company is handling the claim. Your vehicle needs major collision repair. This could include both exterior body damage as well as mechanical problems. You find out your auto insurance policy does not include rental car reimbursement. The rental car will cost you at least $30 per day plus taxes and fees. Major collision damage repairs can easily result in two to four weeks of rental car usage. Of course, you could opt to use Uber, a bicycle or just stay home. Maybe this optional coverage is worth the extra $2 to $15 per month.

  • Credit_Card_PaymentYour vehicle has been hit and the at-fault driver left the scene of the accident. You suspect he/she is uninsured. You opted to decline the optional uninsured motorist coverage. Will your insurance still cover your vehicle’s collision repairs? This could be a coverage issue.

  • Your vehicle has been hit by someone who only carries the required Arizona state minimum liability insurance of $15,000. Your car repairs exceed $15,000 or maybe your vehicle is a total loss. This is where your underinsured motorist coverage kicks in. At the time of purchasing your car insurance, did you think you needed underinsured motorist coverage to pay for auto body repairs?

  • During a recent monsoon, a tree fell on your vehicle. Your car has no lien so you declined comprehensive coverage. The fact that your vehicle does not require collision and comprehensive is not enough to base a coverage decision.  Consider the value of your vehicle and whether you can afford to replace or repair the vehicle.   

Whether you choose to obtain a quote from a website or a live agent always be aware of what coverages you are declining. In the spirit of obtaining a competitive quote, you may be putting yourself at risk. If you choose to decline coverage ask yourself if you can afford to pay out of pocket for auto body repair, a rental car or full vehicle replacement. Then ask yourself if you are comfortable with the idea of withdrawing money from your bank account or using your credit cards to pay for such an occurrence.


Collision coverage, personal injury protection, medical payments and towing are a few other coverages to consider. While everyone is looking to save money on car insurance, you must carefully consider which coverages are right for you. I recommend doing a little research and understanding what each coverage has to offer. Remember, the purpose of insurance is adequate coverage and it can be a gamble to predict which ones you will “need”.

Airpark Collision Center works with all insurance companies and is focused on quality collision repair. We are industry certified and have earned several vehicle manufacturer certifications. Please stop in for an estimate or click for an online estimate.

Tina Small has been part of the Airpark Collision Center team since 2006. Working directly with customers, her goal is to share frequent customer questions, and proper methods of collision repair.

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