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Car insurance is a necessity whether you own or lease a car, but the things to consider when shopping for insurance differ between the two. When insuring an owned car, the owner is responsible for guarding against all potential harms. With leased cars, however, that isn’t necessarily the case. Here are some factors to examine when determining the best type of insurance for a leased car.
Coverage the law requires
Regardless of where you live, the law demands you carry liability coverage. This minimum coverage reimburses for damage to other people and property when you are to blame in an accident. It does not, however, cover the cost of medical treatment for any injuries you may sustain or repairs to your own vehicle in an accident that is your fault.
Many states also require drivers with leased cars to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This protects renters who are involved in an accident with a driver without ample insurance to make financial amends for harm to other people and vehicles.
Coverage the leasing agent requires
Beyond liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the leasing agent or company may stipulate renters also carry collision and comprehensive coverage. With collision protection, it doesn’t matter who is at fault for your leased car to be repaired after an impact with another car or object.
Similarly, comprehensive coverage covers repairs caused by things other than a collision, such as natural disaster or vandalism, regardless of fault. Ultimately, these additional coverages protect the leasing agent’s investment.
Included coverage in lease agreement
Before you shop for the best car insurance for a leased car, ask if there is any included coverage in your lease agreement. Many agents or companies carry their own gap insurance that protects against unforeseen circumstances. Knowing about any included coverage may prevent you from paying to bridge such gaps twice.
Consider leased car insurance discounts
When weighing insurance options to choose the best one for your leased vehicle, don’t forget to inquire about discounts. Many companies shave off part of the price for good driving records, such as not having an accident or moving violation in the past three years. The type of car you lease also plays a role in potential discounts – the more safety features it has, the better.
Other things that may gain you a discount are high credit scores, being a student with good grades, and accepting a higher deductible. You have nothing to lose in asking about discounts, and insurance companies are unlikely to advertise them otherwise.