Auto Insurance FAQ

You've got questions, we've got answers! Here are the most asked questions about auto insurance.



1. How does my car insurance deductible work?

A car insurance deductible is the amount of money that you (“the insured”) are responsible for before your insurance carrier pays out on a claim resulting in a loss.

For example, if your deductible is $500, and repairs from an auto accident are $1,200, you will be responsible for paying the first $500, while the insurance will pay the remaining $700.


2. Is my car insurance rate based on my credit score?

Yes, it is likely. Your credit score can be a factor in determining your car insurance rate. Most carriers use what is called an “insurance score” which is comprised of numerous characteristics including your credit history. These characteristics vary from carrier to carrier and state to state. Here are some characteristics that can affect your insurance rates:

  • Age or driving experience 
  • How your vehicle is used (personal or business)
  • Driving and claims history 
  • Geographic location 
  • Credit history
  • Make and model of your vehicle(s) 


3. Will my car insurance cover repairs?         

No, your car insurance will not cover the cost of mechanical repairs or vehicle upkeep. The purpose of auto insurance is make the insured “whole” again in the event of a loss, not pay for normal wear and tear on a vehicle.


4. Can my car insurance be considered a business expense?       

Yes. If you are using the car for business use, it can be considered a business expense for tax purposes. It is very important that you make your insurance agent/company aware of this use so there are clear expectations in the event of a claim.


5. Do all auto insurance companies offer the same coverages and discounts?

Definitely not. While many of the basic types of coverage — Liability, Collision, Comprehensive, Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payments, Uninsured Motorist, etc. — are offered by major companies, discounts and specialized coverages can vary greatly between carriers. For instance, not all carriers offer Loan/Lease Payoff coverage, student discounts, good driving discounts, deductible reductions, etc.


6. How can I find the best car insurance for me?

Different carriers have different advantages, and those different advantages may or may not appeal to you. The best way to determine what will work best for you is to meet with an insurance agent, get answers to your questions, and go over your current coverages and options.


7. How much insurance coverage do I need?

It is very important that you select and maintain AT LEAST the state minimum requirements. Though, it may be advisable to increase these limits to ensure you have appropriate coverage.

Pennsylvania State Minimum:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $5,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $5,000 medical benefits

Please note that the state minimum only requiring you to carry $5,000 in property damage is extremely low. Most property damage claims can be much more expensive and you’d be on the hook for the difference.  

Louisiana state minimum:

  • $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident

Maryland State Minimum:

  • $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $60,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $30,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
  • $60,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
  • $15,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident


8. What can I do to decrease my car insurance rates?

  • Pay your bills on time each month. 
  • Avoid accidents and violations as much as possible (like avoid driving in bad weather).
  • Take advantage of discounts. Paid in Full discounts, paperless discounts, automatic withdraw discounts.
  • Sometimes different carriers give you ‘breaks’ at different ages; 21, 25, 30.
  • The type of vehicle you have and your Zip Code can make a difference.


9. Why did my car insurance rate increase?

There are several reasons your car insurance rate would increase. They may include the following:

  • A recent claim(s) and/or change to your driving record
  • History of convictions or driving violations - causing surcharges
  • A change of address, placing you in a new area that may be more expensive in terms of insurance
  • New drivers added to the policy or changes of the primary drivers of various vehicles on the policy
  • Cancellation of home policy, or other policy causing you to lose the discount for having more than one policy with the same insurer.
  • Deletion of a vehicle from the policy. Sometimes you get discounts for insuring more than one car. If you delete your second car, the price of insurance on the first car might go up.
  • Change of employment. You may lose a group discount, a professional discount, or possibly have the distance to work change, making your rate go up.
  • Medical conditions that increase your risk, or restrictions that cause reclassification to high-risk insurance due to convictions like drunk driving charges
  • Mistakes. Yes, insurance companies can sometimes make mistakes. Never assume that the rate you got is the best rate or that it is necessarily correct. There are computer and human errors that can occur, so it is always worth reviewing the factors with your representative when you're in doubt.
  • Changes to the payment plan fees or structure on your insurance plan. Sometimes insurance companies change the financing rates or add new service charges that you may not have noticed. Take a look at your payment options and make sure you choose one that best meets your needs. Some companies offer zero financing, and others can charge up to 5% or more. This can impact your actual annual insurance cost.


10. How can I make a payment?

  • Online — Log in to our online customer service site to pay online.
  • Phone — Call us to make a payment by phone.
  • Automatic Payments — Set up an installment plan to automatically deduct your payment each month.
  • Mail — Send a check with your monthly bill in the mail.

You can pay for your Progressive policy through the following means:

  • Credit Card
  • PayPal
  • Online Check
  • Personal check or money order
  • Electronic Funds Transfer from your checking account


11. What should I do in the event of an auto accident?

If you are involved in an accident, first get yourself, your vehicle, and any other property from further damage. You should call the police as soon as possible if someone is injured, damage is extensive, or if you need assistance.

Do not say you’re liable, or sign a statement, unless authorized by your insurance company. Gather as much information as possible about the other vehicle(s) involved, persons injured and witnesses.

Report the claim to your insurance company immediately.

If you are a commercial driver, let your employer know about the accident right away.