Auto or car insurance has existed almost as long as automobiles have.
The first auto insurance policy sold in the United States dates back to 1898.
Traveler’s Insurance Co. in Buffalo, New York sold the policy to Dr. Truman Martin.
Dr. Martin was not required to buy insurance, since mandatory insurance laws had not yet been passed in New York. Dr. Martin wanted to have the coverage in case of accident, since he was a prudent man.
Since then, the automobile insurance business has ballooned into a massive industry that makes an incredible amount of money.
Auto insurance was an unusual purchase in 1898. Today it would be unusual for anyone not to buy it, since auto insurance is just a normal fact of life for most of us.
Car Insurance Laws
Federal law does not govern auto insurance in the United States. Each individual state has their own system of auto insurance.
Each state also has slightly different requirements and rules regarding vehicle insurance.
Look up your state website. States publish their specific driving rules on their Department of Motor Vehicles website section. Read and understand the rules before you buy insurance.
Alabama, New Hampshire, and Virginia do not require drivers to have auto insurance as long as you can prove that you have the means to pay a minimum amount in case of an accident – the amount differs in each state.
New York requires that you buy coverage for a minimum of $360,000 for various types of liability.
New Mexico only requires that you purchase coverage for $85,000 in case of accident.
Meeting State Law Requirements
When you buy auto insurance, you must make sure you are meeting the requirements for your state.
An auto insurance company representative can help make sure you are meeting minimum requirements in your state.
Many people prefer to look up the requirements themselves, though, and shop for insurance online.
You should consider buying more insurance than required if the requirements are quite low in your state.
Vehicle accidents cause over 100 deaths a day in the USA. Each accident costs many thousands of dollars, so it’s easy to see how your insurance coverage could be inadequate.
Cost of not having Car Insurance
Loss of life and lost productivity due to automobile accidents cost the United States close to a trillion dollars in 2010.
A car accident occurs about every 14 seconds in the USA, so more insurance might be better.