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Car Insurance for SUVs: What You Should Know

Although America's love affair with the sports utility vehicle has abated in recent years due to high oil prices, the oversized vehicles remain some of the most popular cars on the road. To fund this continuing affair with the SUV, however, many Americans are foregoing car insurance for their vehicles, an unfortunate decision which could cost them more in the long run. The Insurance Research Council recently estimated that the chances of a driver being uninsured are approximately one in seven, mainly due to the economic downturn.

One of the main problems SUV owners have with maintaining their car insurance is that rates to ensure SUVs are usually much higher than those for regular automobiles. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that SUVs are generally less safe than cars, since they are more likely to roll over in an accident, resulting in more serious injuries to the driver and passengers, as well as causing more property damage due to their larger size. In addition, sports utility vehicles cost more to repair and are more likely to be the victim of car theft. On the average, SUV insurance rates are 10% to 20% higher than for those of cars.

However, not being insured can result in crippling financial losses if you are involved in an accident, particularly if your state follows a tort auto insurance system. Under this system, the party determined to be at fault is responsible for all the damages incurred by the other party as a result of the accident; if you are not insured then you will have to pay for these damages out of your own pocket. In addition, you will be ticketed if you are caught without insurance and depending on your state's laws face fines and imprisonment, as well as the suspension of your license and vehicle registration.

In order to avoid these problems, you should follow your state's minimum car insurance requirements for SUVs; in general these consist of a minimum amount of bodily injury liability per person and per accident, as well as property damage liability which may be higher than those required for cars. In addition there are a range of other coverage types available that will help protect you if your SUV is involved in an accident such as uninsured and underinsured motorist that will cover damages incurred by you and your passengers in an accident caused by another motorist who is not insured or does not have enough coverage to pay for the damages. You should speak to a licensed independent insurance agent about which types of coverage you need and which you can forego so that you won't pay for coverage that you don't need.

Once you've decided on what kind of SUV auto insurance policy you need, you should start comparison shopping for quotes by logging on to online car insurance sites that allow you to compare quotes from two or more providers. Make sure that you read them carefully to understand all the terms and conditions, including the amount of the deductible and the premiums as well as what coverage types are included in the policy.

If you want to save money on your SUV car insurance, you should look into what discounts you might be eligible for. For example, if your car has anti-theft and safety devices installed, you may quality for a discount. Discounts are also available for motorists who have an exemplary driving record or who have successfully passed defensive driving courses. And many companies also offer discounts if you would get two or more different policies from them, such as bundling your car and homeowners insurance together. These discounts may help make SUV insurance substantially more affordable.

Keep in mind that while SUV insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, particularly when times are hard, in the long run it can save you more money while ensuring that you and your family are protected in case of an accident.

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