DEAR KRYSTLE: My Mom and Dad gave me a 2012 Lexus RX Hybrid for my Sweet 16! Do I need all the insurance?? -- NEW DRIVER
DEAR NEW DRIVER: While a 2012 Lexus RX Hybrid is the icing on top of the perfect birthday cake and let's face it, every 16 year-olds dream, it can also become a beautiful nightmare fast without the proper vehicle insurance coverage. As a new driver of a luxury car, you should carry the maximum coverage possible. Teen drivers are the leading group amongst any age involved in automobile accidents daily. Although you will have to check with your state laws regarding the minimum legal amount of coverage, in most states, excluding Florida and New Hampshire, you must carry at least the minimum liability limits required by state law. Your parents may look into their insurance policy and see if the appropriate coverage for a new teen drivers exists under their current plan. Because of the statistics with novice teen drivers, it's best to make sure that you are fully covered for any damages caused to the other party, as well as damages to your own vehicle, especially since it is a brand new car. You should definitely purchase Collision and Comprehensive coverage. With a Personal Umbrella policy, you will be covered for excess costs from the other vehicle, but your insurance company may require that you carry more than the minimum to qualify for this type of policy. No need in ruining a perfect birthday gift just because you are uninsured or underinsured.
DEAR KRYSTLE: I just turned 32 and decide to lease a 2013 Ford 150. What can I expect my insurance to be when leasing? -- FORD 150
DEAR FORD 150: Congratulations, you have passed the quarter of a century mark, which means that in most states, your insurance rates will be significantly lower than before. However, still, you are leasing a brand new Ford 150, so you may want to consider the following: Your leased vehicle is owned by a leasing company and they want to be sure that the vehicle that they are lending you is covered should any accidents or thefts occur. So in most cases, the leasing company will require you to have more than enough liability coverage to protect you and themselves from any costly damages. If your brand new Ford 150 is totaled or stolen, your insurance money likely won't cover the total amount you owe to pay off the lease. Unless you have gap protection, you will have to pay the amount that was not covered out of pocket. Most leasing companies include the gap protection, but you may want to double check. You should definitely purchase Collision and Comprehensive coverage as well. With a Personal Umbrella policy, you will be covered for excess costs from the other vehicle, but your insurance company may require that you carry more than the minimum to qualify for this type of policy. Because the car is leased, the leasing company may require you to have Physical Damage coverage, even though the state law may not require it. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver is at fault but has too little or no insurance, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage would be beneficial to you. Carrying the minimum amount of coverage is a big risk because you can be sued for any additional expenses owed. It's best to have more, than not enough. Happy driving!
DEAR KRYSTLE: I got a 1995 Honda Accord to get me to school and work. Is it necessary to have more then the state required insurance? -- HONDA
DEAR HONDA: Statistically speaking, young males your age are more likely to be involved in a vehicle related accident then a male driver much older, so if this is your only means of transportation to and from work, or school, then it is in your best interest to cover all the necessary areas in case the unfortunate occurs. Don't be alarmed at the premium rates, as a young driver yourself, unfortunately the cost of insurance is a little higher. However, when purchasing insurance on your vehicle, take into consideration your driving history because although older vehicles usually do not carry the maximum amount or include additional insurance services, you may need to purchase some additional coverage according to your situation. For instance, because your vehicle has some miles on it, I'm sure being that it is used and a little older, I would suggest including towing services in your policy.
DEAR KRYSTLE: My wife and I own a 1991 Lincoln Town Car. It is our pride and joy. With regular trips to the mechanics, as well as to the car wash, she looks as good as the day we drove her off the lot. What is your suggestion for a couple in their golden years looking to protect our investment? -- MR. & MRS. LINCOLN
DEAR MR. & MRS. LINCOLN: Welcome to the world of senior citizen discounts! Not only are movie theater tickets cheaper, but so can your car insurance. Because you own your vehicle, and it is slightly on the older side, depending on where you reside, you can go with the very basic minimum amount of insurance coverage. You want to be sure that your coverage however, includes the both of you for the sole purpose that you may not always be driving together. Including additional protection, such as, Collision and Comprehensive coverage is not necessary in your case, given the vehicle's year and mileage history. A big tip on how to save on car insurance is to enroll in a driver improvement course. This could lower your premium rate significantly.
DEAR KRYSTLE: I'm a mom of kids ranging from 5 to 15. With all the after school activities I'm constantly running them here and there. What kind of coverage do you suggest I have on my "Mom-mobile"? -- SOCCER MOM
DEAR SOCCER MOM: One word: carpool. With children, often comes their friends, especially if they are involved in sports, then it is usually the team. As a soccer mom, I'm sure you're on the road constantly, so you want to be sure that not only are you carrying the legal amount that your state requires, but to ensure the safety of your children and their friends, it may be a good idea to include extra services, such as medical expenses, which covers the cost of medical care for you and your passengers in the event of an accident. If Personal Injury Protection, or PIP as it is commonly referred to isn't required by your state, it is a good service to purchase because with this policy, your medical costs and those of your passengers, regardless of who was responsible for the accident are covered. Never take the risk with children. Distractions happen, and if you are going to be liable for children other than your own, make sure that you have the proper protection to keep them safe.