10-Word Answers (or Less!) to Your Biggest Car Insurance Questions

Auto Insurance, Insurance
Woman with car key

If you have questions about car insurance but not a lot of time to research, check out these brief responses to common questions.

Q: If my friend borrows my car and crashes it, whose insurance pays?

A: Yours does, because you own the car. Sorry.

Q: What are the best ways to save money on car insurance?

A: Shop around to compare car insurance rates and bundle policies.

Q: What is “bundling” of insurance?

A: It’s buying at least two policies from the same company.

Q: How much will my rates go up if I cause a car accident?

A: About $800 in California, for example. Increases vary by state.

Q: Who are the best car insurance companies?

A: Amica, Erie and Auto-Owners, according to NerdWallet’s rankings.

» MORE: The best car insurance companies

Q: Who has the cheapest auto insurance?

A: Often Geico, among the largest insurers. But shop around.

Q: I was rear-ended. The other guy says I slammed on my brakes and caused the accident. Whose fault is it?

A: The other person’s. Make a claim against his insurance.

Q: When do teen drivers have to be added to insurance?

A: Typically, when the teen gets a driver’s license. Save up!

Q: Is it cheaper to add teen drivers to a parent’s auto insurance or get them their own policy?

A: It’s usually cheaper to put them on a parent’s policy.

» MORE: Finding the cheapest car insurance for teens

Q: Can I buy insurance in one state even though I live in another?

A: No. Buy insurance where the car is “garaged.”

Q: Do I need a driver’s license in order to buy car insurance?

A: Yes. If the license is suspended, you’ll probably be dropped.

Q: Can my auto insurer cancel me before the end of the policy?

A: Only for certain reasons, like not paying premiums or fraud.

Q: What is “full coverage car insurance”?

A: It generally means you have liability, comprehensive and collision coverage.

Q: If I have full coverage car insurance and rent a car, do I still need rental car insurance?

A: No. Your personal auto insurance usually extends to a rental.

Q: Can my auto insurer make me use a certain body shop?

A: That is barred by most states under “anti-steering” laws.

Q: Where can I make a complaint about my auto insurance company?

A: Your state department of insurance is the right place.

» MORE: Find the best cheap car insurance

Amy Danise is an insurance expert at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: adanise@nerdwallet.com.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by USA Today.