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In which we discuss car insurance: how it works, how to get cheap car insurance and quotes, and exactly what you should do after a car accident!


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Created by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
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Written by:
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& T. Michael Martin

Hosted and Directed by:
T. Michael Martin

Edited by:
Nathan Talbott

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green

Hey, let's talk car insurance.

Part 1: What is car insurance? 
Well, I'll tell you...
Car insurance protects you from a huge financial loss. Basically, you pay a "premium" monthly, usually, to your insurance company. And in exchange, if you get into a wreck, the insurance company will help you cover your losses.

Car insurance includes 3 different types of coverage:
  • Number 1: Property, which will pay for your car if it is stolen or damaged.
  • Number 2: Liability, which pays for legal obligations to others for bodily injury or property damage.
  • And Number 3: Medical, which pays for hospital bills, rehabilitation, and sometimes loss wages or funeral expenses.

Part 2: Money Matters
So how much coverage should you get? Well, that depends on different things, such as
  • the car's value
  • whether you own the car outright
  • and how much in damages you can afford to cover, out of pocket, on your own.

Naturally, your monthly premium will vary depending on you amount of coverage, like...for instance, it costs more to insure the Ectomobile [show Ghostbusters car] than it does to say, cover Mr. Bean's little mustard yellow car. [shows Mr. Bean's Mini]

That's the way of the world, kid. And don't you forget it.

And an important thing to note: just because you pay premiums doesn't mean you have to pay nothing when you get into a wreck.
Most likely, you'll have something called a deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay before insurance starts kicking in.
So, let's say you total your $5,000 car in a wreck, and your deductible is $1,000. 
That means that you are going to pay the first $1,000, to get your car replaced, and your insurance will pay the remaining $4,000.
In the good ol' U.S of A, nearly all states require that you have car insurance if you are going to own or drive a car, so it's super important to get it. ["New Hampshire and Virginia are the only exceptions." is onscreen]
Also, the remaining states require that you prove that you could afford to cover all damages if you get into a wreck. So basically, for the [air quotes] "privilege" of not paying a monthly premium for insurance, you're gambling potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. We would say, [get closer to camera cupping ear] proud, get insured.
Applause, applause, applause [while it plays.]

Part 3: How to get insured
This actually really simple. You can get quotes online or from the phone from dozens of competitors. The insurance company will need a bit of information about you and your car. They will also likely run a credit report, and look up your accident history. ["another good reason to have solid credit and few/no wrecks!" flashes onscreen]
Once you get a quote you like, you will start paying premiums. And they will send you your insurance card, which you should keep with your car at all times.
How come, Mike? I'll tell you "how come".

Part 4: ["So You Wrecked Your Car" goes onscreen.] That colossal wreck, boundless and bare
P.S, the first person who tells me what that quote is from, in the comments, is [thumbs up] officially an awesome adult.

["Step 1 Get to safety" onscreen]
Post accident, if you can, get your car and yourself off the road and into someplace safe. 
If you cannot move your car, leave it there, [picture of crumpled-the-hood-and-back accident] but make sure you get out of the dangerous situations. Your insurance company will pay to get a tow truck to take your car away. Either way though, put on your hazards. If you have any of those [draws triangle in air as speaking] reflectorized triangles, be sure to put them out. If you have one of those road flares, careful, 'cause they will burn you. They're not just, like, fun with...They're not a glow stick, for crying out loud. 
Who learned his lesson the hard way? This guy.
Lotta raves in the 90's. None of this was true. Next angle.

Step 1.5 [DON'T apologize!! onscreen]
This might seem slightly uncomfortable, but do not offer any apologies or explanations for what caused the wreck. They can be used against you in future legal proceedings. [grimaces]

Step 2: Should you call the police? We recommend that you do. ["Step 2 Call the police? (yeah, probably should)" onscreen]
Admittedly, it is not not call the police. But, to quote U.S News and World Reports, [words also onscreen]
"Even if no one is hurt, if there's real damage and insurance companies will soon do battle, it's a good idea to call 911.
That's the recommendation from the federal government's website,, which recommends calling after 'a car crash, especially if someone is injured.
If you call 911 or your local precinct and bring in a neutral third part to document the accident, you'll be doing yourself a favor." 
It's true that it'll take the police a little while to get there, if you live in a big city or they're just, like, super busy that day. 
But still, we recommend erring on the side of caution and calling them. Either way, you're going to have to file an accident report with the police, more info in the dooblydoo. ["the police will have to be involved in some capacity, so don't think you can avoid that by not contacting them" onscreen]

Step 3: ["Trade information"]
Gather the other driver's information, and volunteer your own. Write down these things [onscreen pops the words:
  • other driver's name
  • phone number
  • make/model of car
  • insurance carrier
  • address
  • email
  • license plate #
  • insurance policy #]

And if you call the police, you should get their
  • phone number
  • badge number
  • and name

[also, photograph the scene and cars if you can]
AND request a copy of the police report. Having all this info will save you a lot of headaches in

Step 4: File a claim
After the scene is cleared, call your insurance company immediately to start the claims process. Your insurance card should have a 24-hour phone number on the back of it [you can call any time to get the claim started ASAP]. And your insurance agent should call you within one business day to help you with the claim. 
Your insurance agent should also be able to help you, basically...every step of the way of the process.
After an accident for which you have been deemed responsible for, it is possible that your premiums are going to go up. That's because the insurance company sees you as a riskier investment. 
However, this is not for certain, because a lot of different companies have different policies on rate increases, so just know it might vary. 
For a lot of people, driving is a big part of adulthood, and it is a HUGE responsibility. Basically, you're piloting a two ton missile. So, drive sober, put down your phone, maintain legal speed limits. That way you'll be avoiding the three most common causes of accidents. 
I speak for everyone here at How to Adult when I say you guys are awesome, so please be safe.
Please be safe.
I love you bye. Mwah.