Auto Insurance Basics
Understanding the differences between required and optional auto insurance coverages is essential when crafting an auto insurance policy.
The minimum amount of liability insurance that you're required to carry will ultimately depend on your state's laws. When shopping for auto insurance, you can always opt to purchase coverage limits above your state's minimum requirements to further protect your assets. Visit our insurance guidelines by state page to learn more.
Not sure about how much liability insurance you need? Our insurance specialists can guide you through selecting the right amount of protection for you and your family.
Comprehensive and collision insurance covers damage to the policyholder's vehicle after a covered incident. However, it's important to understand the critical difference between the two types of insurance.
Collision coverage will cover any damage sustained to your vehicle after a traffic accident (regardless of fault) up to your policy's limits. This includes accidents with another vehicle, rollovers, or collisions with a stationary object.
On the flip side, comprehensive coverage covers damage to your vehicle after it's been involved in a non-collision event. Examples of covered events may include vandalism, damage from failing debris, or natural disasters.
In most cases, purchasing collision and comprehensive insurance is entirely optional. However, if you're financing or leasing your vehicle, your lender or titleholder may require you to purchase these add-on coverage types.
Uninsured motorist insurance will protect you when involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn't have liability insurance.
You'll often see this type of coverage included or bundled alongside underinsured motorist coverage, which offers similar protection if involved in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover all expenses. Coverage limits for uninsured motorist insurance typically mirror your liability limits.
Generally speaking, if someone borrows your vehicle with your permission, your auto insurance policy should still provide coverage if they were to get into an accident. This is referred to as "permissive use" in most policies. Coverage may vary depending on your location and insurance provider, so always double-check with your insurance agent.
If someone borrows your car on a regular basis, however, that individual should be added as a listed driver to your policy to avoid any potential issues.
If you are currently insured and are upgrading to a new car, you typically have a short grace period (between 2 to 30 days) to update your policy information. Grace periods may vary depending on your location and insurance provider. If you are not insured, you'll need to obtain a policy before driving the car off the lot.
Yes and no. All of your vehicles are required to carry your state’s minimum insurance requirements. However, coverage limits can vary when it comes to add-on coverage types such as comprehensive, collision, or rental reimbursement. Furthermore, it is possible to carry collision and comprehensive insurance on one vehicle and not the other.
Most US auto insurance policies will continue to provide coverage when driving in Canada. However, your auto insurance policy will likely provide no coverage when driving in Mexico.
What is "Full Coverage?"
When shopping for auto insurance, you may come across a general term: full coverage. While some may use the term to describe a combination of coverage types that protect a vehicle, the truth is that there's no universal definition of full coverage.
Depending on where you live, some insurance coverages are required by law, such as liability insurance. However, optional types such as rental car reimbursement are purely optional in most situations.
Full coverage may often be used to describe a policy that includes state-required liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive coverage. However, what constitutes as full coverage will ultimately depend on your specific situation and needs.
Our auto insurance specialists will know the questions to ask to find a policy that works best for you.
Accidents & Claims
Getting into an accident can be stressful, but it's important to understand the steps to take after.
After an accident, your priority should be safety. First, ensure that you, your passengers, and others are uninjured. If there are any injuries, call 911 immediately. Second, it's standard procedure in most states to notify the police after a damage-causing accident. Next, gather all relevant information from other drivers and witnesses at the scene. This includes exchanging contact, vehicle, and insurance information. Be sure to take photos and videos of the damage and scene. Finally, contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
Most of our insurance partners allow you to submit a claim online. To view the steps for filing a claim online, click here.
If you have any questions, please email us or call (888) 772-4247 to speak with a customer service specialist, Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM PST.
Yes. Reporting an accident as soon as possible ensures that claims are handled quickly and will help avoid potential problems should you be held liable in the future. Please visit our claims center to find out how to contact your carrier.
Traffic convictions and accidents can remain on your driving record for three years. In some states, alcohol-related accidents and other major violations can remain on your record for up to 10 years.
Insurance Premiums and Rates
Auto insurance carriers rely on multiple factors to determine your insurance premium.
Common factors that affect your policy's price include coverage options, deductibles, and discounts. However, your driving history, credit score (where permitted by law), and additional factors may also be used to determine your insurance rates.
To get a personalized car insurance quote with AIS, you'll need a valid driver's license, your vehicle identification number (VIN), and the physical address where your vehicle is stored. You'll also need to know your car's make, model, mileage, and year.
When you contact AIS for a quote, we shop from our network of insurance partners to find the type of coverage that best fits your needs at the best possible price. Some of our insurance partners specialize in good drivers, while others focus on high-risk drivers. So no matter what kind of driver you are, AIS can find the best possible auto insurance policy for you at a competitive price.
Auto insurance policies vary significantly for numerous reasons, and the same applies to premiums. In these cases, you may have higher limits or additional coverage types than your neighbor. In addition, several factors, such as your driving record, discounts, and usage, can affect the cost of your auto insurance premium.
You can submit your request to lower your deductibles under "Change vehicle coverage" within your account. Please note some insurance companies may require photos of your vehicle to complete this request. AIS will contact you with details if needed.
My Account & Policy Information
Have questions regarding your account? Learn how to get the help you need.
You can visit our customer service department online or by calling (888) 772-4247. To simplify the process, please have your policy number on hand when you call.
When you make changes to your policy, you get to choose the effective date. AIS will send you a confirmation when changes have been made to your policy.
Typically, you'll hear from us on the next business day (Monday-Friday) after we receive your online service request.
You can email documents to us at email@example.com.
Yes. Once you submit your change, you can return to "View My Policies" to submit another request. You'll also be able to view all of your recently submitted requests.
To a driver to your auto insurance policy, we'll typically need the driver's name, license number, date of birth, and vehicle information.
To add a vehicle to your policy, we'll need the vehicle's year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN). In addition, you'll also be required to provide the vehicle's purchase price and an odometer reading.
Payments & Discounts
Your questions regarding payments and billing answered.
Many of our insurance partners allow you to make quick and easy premium payments online. AIS does not accept payments, so they must be made directly to your insurance company. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (888) 772-4247 to speak with a customer service representative Monday through Friday between 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM PST.
You'll typically receive a copy of your policy in the mail within a few weeks. However, you'll be provided with proof of insurance right away. When you begin receiving material from us in the mail, review all mailings carefully, as your first installment bill may be included alongside a copy of your policy.
The due date of your first installment will vary depending on your chosen payment plan.
Once you receive a confirmation from us, your insurance company will bill or refund you directly if your changes result in a different premium.
No, renewals are due on the date specified. However, some companies offer a period when the policy can be renewed with a lapse in coverage without having to rewrite the policy.
You may be eligible for a Good Student Discount if you are an unmarried full-time student with a 3.0 (B average) or better. Please get in touch with us to learn more about the discounts available to you.