Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Adding more car insurance to your current policy is pretty easy these days. All it usually takes is a little time on the computer or a phone call.

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Whether you have an agent or not, it’s a fairly simple process to add more car insurance. Below we’ll discuss the two different ways to go about it as well as the reasons you might want to add more car insurance.

Add It Online

Nearly all car insurance companies, even those who sell through agents, have an online presence. If you’ve never signed onto your account on their website before, you’ll probably have to register and establish a user name and password. You’ll probably also need your account number handy.

Once you are logged onto your account, you should be able to view all sorts of pertinent information about your policy. This will include the levels of coverage you have, your deductible, when your bill is due, and the cars and drivers listed on the policy. Most companies even allow you to pay your bill online.

Most companies also allow you to add coverage to your policy online.

The beauty of being able to make a change online is that you can usually get a quote for how much the addition will add to your premium before committing to it. This allows you to customize your policy and balance cost versus protection more easily.

Once you make a change online, it is usually immediately in effect. If you’re in the middle of a six or twelve-month term, the amount of the increase will usually be prorated for the rest of the payments in the cycle.

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Call Your Agent or Insurance Company

If you don’t want to do it online, or have too many questions to do it that way, you can also call your agent or a representative from the insurance company. They can do the same things over the phone.

The agent will probably ask you questions to help determine what the right amount of coverage is for you. He can also help you look for any additional discounts you might be overlooking.

One advantage of talking to an actual person is that you can ask any questions you might have much more easily. You can also get an explanation of what the policy does and does not cover.

Just like when you add coverage online, the agent or representative can usually give you a quote for the cost of the addition. Once you give him the go ahead to add to the policy, it is also effective immediately in most cases.

You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone want to add to his insurance policy? I wish I could get rid of some so my bill wasn’t so high!”

The fact of the matter is that insurance actually saves you money in the long run. It also protects your assets in cases of serious car accidents. If you are trying to get by with as little insurance as possible to save on the premiums, you might end up costing yourself a lot of money. Here are some reasons people add to their insurance policies.

Raise Your Liability

In this country, the general rule of law is that you are responsible for cleaning up your own messes. In other words, if you break it, you have to pay for it to be fixed.

This applies most particularly to auto accidents and auto insurance. Everywhere in the country, you are required to pay restitution for any damage you cause another person or another person’s property with your car.

Most states require you to purchase insurance to cover these damages. A couple of states allow citizens to purchase a bond to be used to pay for this. Since most people don’t have extra tens of thousands of dollars sitting around to keep in a bond like this, most drivers in these states still choose to buy liability insurance.

Auto liability insurance is broken down into three parts:

  • Bodily injury liability per person, which pays the medical expenses for someone in the other car
  • Bodily injury liability per accident, which is the total amount the policy will pay for medical expenses stemming from one accident
  • Property damage liability, which pays for the other driver’s car to be repaired. If the car is totaled, it pays the driver an amount equal to the actual cash value of the car at the time of the accident.

Each state sets the minimum amount of each of these that you must carry in order to drive legally. For example, in Maine, the amount is 50/100/25. This means that your insurance will pay $50,000 per person up to a total of $100,000 per accident in medical expenses. It will also pay up to $25,000 to repair or replace the car. This is actually one of the highest minimums across the United States. In California, the minimum requirement is 15/30/5.

The problem with keeping liability insurance levels really low is that they won’t always cover the damages done in serious accidents.

If you hit and total a $20,000 car in California with only $5,000 in property damage coverage, you’ll be required to pay the leftover $15,000 out-of-pocket. If the other driver is hurt, it’s also easy to exceed $15,000 in medical bills.

This is why experts like those at the Insurance Information Institute recommend you carry at least 100/300 coverage for bodily injury, and either 50 or 100 for property insurance. This level of coverage will pay for damages for nearly all worst-case scenario accidents. If you don’t have this level of coverage, consider adding it.

Add Comprehensive and Collision

When people buy a new car they usually have to add comprehensive and collision insurance for the new purchase, as well as adding them onto the liability policy. When you take out a loan to buy a car, the lender, whether it’s a bank, credit union, or car dealership, will require you to carry this coverage on the vehicle until the loan is paid off.

Once it is paid off, comp and collision are completely optional. However, it’s usually wise to keep these on the policy until your car is older. Since comprehensive and collision cover repairs to your car, if you drop them, you’ll be completely responsible for the repair, or replacement, cost.

If you have an older car worth something in the $1,000 to $3,000 range, most experts agree it’s time to drop comprehensive and collision coverage.

At this point, you’re probably paying more in premium and deductibles than the car is worth, says MSNBC News.

MSNBC News also suggests keeping the deductibles for both high, like $1,000. This can save you as much as 40% on your premiums.

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Add PIP or Med Pay

Some states require that drivers have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (med pay). However, it’s common for people to decide to add one of them to their policies.

Med pay and PIP both pay medical expenses for you and any of your passengers no matter who is at fault in the accident. PIP pays for more, like funeral expenses, lost wages, and even house or yard help while you are recuperating.

Some people choose not to have PIP since they already have health insurance. However, people who have high deductibles on their health insurance usually find it cheaper to pay a few extra dollars for PIP than to pay a few thousand dollars out-of-pocket to use their health insurance.

If you have the choice between PIP and med pay, some attorneys recommend getting PIP, as it pays for more and has higher limits.

Add Other Riders

There are other items most insurance companies offer along with the basic insurance coverage that you might decide you want to add.

If your state doesn’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist requirements, you might decide that it is still a good thing to have on the policy. If you don’t have this, your collision policy will probably cover it, but with a deductible. You also usually get a rate increase when you make a claim on your collision policy.

Some companies don’t automatically cover rental cars under their policies.

If you rent cars frequently, you should ask about adding a rider to the policy that extends your personal coverage levels to a rental car. This is usually only a few dollars added to the policy but could save you paying the rental companies high-priced insurance.

Most companies will also sell you a towing package. This pays for your car to be towed, usually up to a certain dollar amount, for any reason, even because of a mechanical breakdown. If you want to have a rental car covered after an accident you cause, this is usually an additional rider you’ll need to add.

There are many reasons you might want to add to or adjust your car insurance policy. No matter what your needs are, the insurance companies make it easy to do changes online. You can contact your agent or representative to make the needed changes.

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