Oklahoma Auto Insurance Guide
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cover In Oklahoma?
Uninsured motorist coverage covers your medical bills after an accident when the other driver does not have an active auto insurance policy and is at fault in the accident. This is a major issue in metropolitan areas with high population.
Underinsured motorist coverage comes in to play when an accident occurs and that driver who was at fault does not have adequate bodily injury limits to cover the damage they did.
An example of this is a Tulsa driver who has 25,000/50,000/25,000 limits of liability has an at fault accident and the person they hit has $75,000 in medical bills. The at fault driver only has $50,000 of coverage for medical bills for the entire accident. So the additional $25,000 to pay for the other party's medical bills are still outstanding, and the injured party can sue the driver who did not have adequate insurance. Or the driver who was injured will have to pay the other $25,000 outstanding balance out of pocket.
What To Do If An Uninsured Motorist Hits Your Vehicle
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe
- If there are injuries, call 911 immediately
- If no injuries, call police non emergency line and ask for a police report
- Take good photos of the damage of both vehicles
- Call and turn in a claim with your insurance company
- Get a copy of the uninsured driver's DL
Do I Really Need To Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Oklahoma does not require you to carry uninsured motorist coverage like some other states do. The decision is up to each individual insured. Here are some examples of situations that you might want to purchase uninsured motorist coverage in Oklahoma:
- Your city has a large number of uninsured drivers.
- If you feel Oklahoma limits of liability are not sufficient enough to cover your medical bills.
- You want to protect yourself against a hit and run accident.
- You live in a metropolitan area that would increase your likelihood of being hit by a driver who is uninsured.
- You do not have health insurance and want protection against an uninsured driver injuring you or passengers and medical bill that incur thereafter.
How Uninsured Motorist Works
Oklahoma state law mandates that drivers must carry at least state minimum coverage of 25,000/50,000/25,000 of coverage.
Here is an example of how uninsured motorist works: Let's say you are side swiped by another vehicle and no fault of your own. In a normal situation you would call and turn in a claim with the driver's auto insurance company and they would pay your claim accordingly.
But, if the other driver of the vehicle doesn't have insurance to cover your medical damages you can utilize your uninsured motorist coverage to help pay for your medical bills incurred from the accident.
One very important thing to remember in Oklahoma is that damage to a vehicle in an uninsured motorist situation is not covered. It will only cover medical bills. If your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured driver the only way your automobile damage can be covered under an Oklahoma Insurance policy is to have Collision coverage on your auto policy. Otherwise, you will be paying for your damage on your car with your personal money. The other option is to file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver.
What Is The Maximum Amount Of Uninsured Motorist Coverage I Can Purchase?
The maximum amount of uninsured motorist coverage you can purchase in Oklahoma is 250,000/500,000 and the minimum amount is $25,000/50,000. You cannot purchase higher uninsured motorist limits than you have on your Bodily injury and property damage limits. For instance, if you carry 25,000/50,000/25,000 liability limits the most coverage you can purchase on uninsured motorist coverage is 25,000/50,000. If you wanted 50,000/100,000, you would have to raise your bodily injury limits to at least equal that.
What Is Liability Auto Insurance?
Liability insurance covers other drivers from bodily injury and property damage caused in an accident that is at fault.
Liability auto insurance has 3 segments to it:
- Bodily Injury per Person - Covers medical bills paid for one individual under limits of policy.
- Bodily Injury per Accident
- Property Damage - Covers property damage in accident under limits of policy
What Are My Options For Liability Insurance In Oklahoma?
- 25,000/50,000/25,000 (State Minimum)
- 250,000/500,000/250,000 (State Maximum)
Oklahoma law requires every driver to at least carry state minimum limits of 25,000/50,000/25,000. Car insurance is regulated at the state level, so each state is responsible for setting their own liability limits. A few auto insurance companies actually give you a discount if you have a previous auto insurance policy with higher than state minimum limits of liability.
Defining Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
Bodily injury liability is auto insurance coverage that protects against injuries caused by a driver who is at fault in an accident. It covers physical injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of income. So, it is important to make sure your liability limits on your car insurance policy are high enough to cover any damage you might to in an automobile.
Defining Property Damage Liability Coverage
Property damage liability coverage helps pay for damages to another person's property or loss of use costs for which a driver is found liable for. Property damage liability covers expenses from automobile damage, damaged structure repair, and debris removal.
Will I Save Money By Purchasing Liability-Only Compared To Full Coverage Auto Insurance?
Liability auto insurance in Oklahoma is much cheaper than purchasing full coverage. In many cases, it can be twice as expensive to purchase full coverage compared to liability only. If your goal is to find cheap insurance, Liability Only is your way to go. If your automobile does not have a loan and is 20 years or older, it could be time to consider changing your auto insurance policy to liability.
Further Understanding Of A Liability Auto Insruance
Insureds need to understand that the liability portion of their car insurance policy covers damage they do to other people. It is not a coverage that the insured can personally benefit from. The higher coverage you put on your liability limits the more protection you will have from lawsuits for damage you do in an accident.
What Happens If My Liability Limits Are Not High Enough?
It's important to carry high enough liability limits on you automobile insurance policy. If your limits are not high enough, compared to the damage you cause in an at fault accident, the other driver can come after you personally for those damages.
For instance, let's say you have state minimum auto insurance of 25/50/25 and you hit an $80,000 Range Rover and total it. Your auto insurance policy will only pay $25,000 to fix the Range Rover, so there is an additional $50,000 needed to cover the loss. If you are at fault in the incident, you can be personally liable to pay the additional $50,000. Many auto insurance agencies do not explain this in detail to clients, so be sure your are prepared before purchasing auto insurance.
Oklahoma Full Coverage Auto Insurance
What Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance
The term "full coverage auto insurance" does not actually exist in true definitions when it comes to auto insurance in Oklahoma. When someone says full coverage, they are actually referring to at least state minimum liability limits in addition to Comprehensive and Collision Coverage.
Many drivers think when they ask for full coverage, it covers everything regarding their vehicle insurance. It is very important to choose an auto insurance agency that explains your coverage in detail.
If you get the basic "full coverage" it does not cover the below coverages:
- Rental Reimbursement
- Medical Payments
- Bodily Injury Uninsured Motorist coverage
- Gap Insurance
- Additional Equipment Coverage
One thing about Oklahoma Insurance is that if you have basic "full coverage" and an uninsured motorist hits you, your automobile insurance will cover the claim under Collision Coverage but you are subject to your deductible.
What Are My Full Coverage Deductible Options?
Below are the different deductibles auto insurance companies offer:
- $250 Deductible
- $500 Deductible
- $750 Deductible
- $1000 Deductible
- $2,000 Deductible
The $250 deductible option is the most expensive on your monthly auto insurance premium. A $2,000 deductible would cost you the least on your monthly premium. One thing to keep in mind is that the $2,000 deductible is rare. Not many auto insurance agencies offer this option. The most common deductibles that customers use are either the $500 or $1,000 option.
If you have a loan on your automobile, many lienholders will require you to carry a minimum of a $500 deductible. Before you buy a car from a carlot, it's very important to call your auto insurance company for car insurance quote to make sure you can afford the monthly premium for the $500 deductible.
Cheap full coverage auto insurance is difficult to come by. It is important to call different auto insurance agencies to get the lowest price possible. Be sure and always check Google and Facebook reviews when getting online insurance quotes. Some auto insurance companies may have low prices, but the customer service and claims can be lacking.
One tip to get the best bang for your buck when you are calling for auto insurance quotes is ask for as low as the insurance company will offer on Comprehensive Deductible. Collision deductible is where you spend the most money. I personally have always found a $250 deductible is a great option on Comprehensive, because it is usually a small amount of monthly difference in the $250 deductible compared to $500. You will be glad you did if you ever have to file a claim and you only have to pay $250 out of pocket.
Defining Comprehensive And Collison Coverage
Comprehensive Coverage - This helps repair your automobile if it is damaged in an incident other than collision. Another name for Comprehensive is "Other than Collision". Below are some examples of a Comprehensive claim:
- Stolen Car
- Hitting a deer
- Hail or other weather claim
- Debris hitting your vehicle
Most auto insurance companies do not raise your monthly premium for a comprehensive claim. But some do remove your claims free discount and that can in turn raise your monthly auto insurance costs.
Collision Coverage - Covers your automobile in a collision with an object or vehicle.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accidents and occur in many different settings. According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions accounted for more than 40% of the collisions in the United States in the last several years. (Statistics according to www.chicagolawyer.com)
One thing to keep in mind is Collision coverage covers you regardless of fault. It is the most frequent type of claim turned in on auto insurance policies.
If I Have A Collison Accident, Will My Rates Go Up?
Yes, in most all cases a collision accident will cause automobile insurance cost to go up. A collision claim and an at fault accident go hand in hand as far as insurance is concerned and effect on your monthly premium has the same effect. The collision claim will stay on your record for 3 years with most all companies.There are a few auto insurance carriers who charge for them up to 5 years.
Some auto insurance companies do offer "accident forgiveness," and your rates may not be affected after a collision accident. But be careful, sometimes this coverage can make your upfront auto insurance quote be higher than it normally would be without it.
Non-Owners Auto Insurance
Defining Non-Owner Car Insurance
Non-owner auto insurance is a liability-only policy for a person who drives and automobile but doesn't actually own it. Here are a few situations you may need a non-owner auto policy:
- You are renting or borrowing a vehicle
- Your license is suspended and you are trying to get it reinstated
- You are required to carry and SR-22 and do not own a car
Non owner insurance is usually cheaper than a standard liability auto insurance policy. The risk is much less for the auto insurance carrier so that savings is passed down to the insured. Non owner insurance does not cover your personal medical bills or vehicle in case of an accident.
Non-Owner Insurance And Its Correlation To SR-22 Insurance
An SR-22 is an automobile liability only auto insurance policy document required by the DMV for drivers who are considered high risk. Some of the most common reasons that cause an SR-22 situation are DUI's or suspended licenses. SR-22 is not a true insurance coverage.
What If My Auto Insurance Company Does Not Offer An SR-22?
Many auto insurance companies do not offer an SR-22. Some automobile insurance companies find this is a greater risk, because there is usually a violation or accident that is causing the SR-22 to be mandated. In some instances, if your current insurance carrier does not offer an SR-22 you can keep your current policy and find another car insurance company who can write you a policy for a non-owner, SR-22 since its cheaper than a traditional auto insurance policy.
Explaining What Non-Owners Insurance Covers
The most common reason to purchase a non owner policy is if you do not currently on an automobile. Non-owner insurance covers the liability portion only. It will not cover comprehensive and collision coverage for the vehicle you are driving. Insurance companies feel they do not know which vehicle you will be driving. So therefore, they do not want the risk of offering comprehensive and collision coverage. The price of repairing or replacing a vehicle varies so much depending on its year, make, and model.
What Coverages Can I Add To My Non-Owner's Policy?
We have already covered you cannot add Comprehensive or Collision coverage. In addition to this, you cannot add Rental Car Reimbursement or Roadside. Below are coverages you can add to your non owners policy:
- Medical payments coverage
- Uninsured Motorist coverage (Bodily Injury only in OK)
Do All Insurance Companies Offer Non-Owner Insurance?
No, not all auto insurance companies offer non owner insurance. Below are three auto insurance carriers who advertise the most for it.
How Much Does Non-Owner Auto Insurance Cost?
Non-owner car insurance monthly premiums are less than a Liability-Only policy. But rates will vary based on your driving record. If you are a higher risk driver that has had major tickets like DUI or Driving while Suspended, then your cost can be substantially higher. If you call an independent auto insurance agency and ask for a non owner quote that can be a very efficient way of finding a good non owner quote.