It is important to have auto insurance but the search for the best coverage can be confusing.
Questions may come up while you look for the insurance that best meets your needs. It is not as simple as choosing the lowest priced insurance. If you are involved in an accident the lowest priced insurance may not cover all of your needs. The following are some common questions you may have and a breakdown of the 5 main categories of insurance and how they affect you during an accident.
What If I Am at Fault?
The most common auto insurance is Liability Coverage. Almost every state requires you to carry some minimum amount to drive legally. It pays for bodily injuries and property damage of others. It is important to note that Liability Insurance does NOT cover any of your damages. It protects others from damage you cause and also protects you financially. Without it you could be responsible for the entire cost of the accident out of pocket.
What If My Vehicle Is Damaged in a Crash?
The second most common auto insurance is Collision Coverage. It pays for damages to your car from an accident even if you were at fault. Any loss that is non-crash related (such as weather damage or theft) is NOT covered by collision insurance; for those you will need Comprehensive Coverage.
What If My Vehicle Is Damaged But Not in a Crash?
Comprehensive Coverage protects you from losses due to fire, theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, or damage caused by certain natural disasters. Keep in mind that although it covers a lot, Comprehensive Coverage does NOT cover everything. For example, even though it is weather-related, most policies will not cover damage due to freezing and vehicle breakdowns are also usually not covered. It is important to find out what is and is not covered before purchasing Comprehensive Coverage. This type of insurance is often appealing to drivers of a new or expensive vehicle. Some lenders may even require it as a condition of financing your vehicle.
What If I Am Injured?
At this point you may be wondering what coverage is needed if there are injuries suffered by you or your passengers. If you were NOT at fault, the other driver’s liability coverage should pay for your damages. However, if they do not have insurance or if you want additional coverage, you can purchase your own medical coverage in order to have extra protection. Medical coverage is usually optional but certain no-fault states will require you to buy a form of it called Personal Injury Protection.
What If the Other Driver Has No Insurance?
Roughly 15% of drivers do not carry the legal minimum amount of car insurance as required by their state. If you are hit by one of these people, you will NOT be able to collect from a liability policy that they do not have. Uninsured Motorist Coverage will pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. Many states now require uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury but you might have the option to purchase it for property damage as well. Underinsured Coverage takes effect when you are hit and your damages and expenses exceed the limits of the at fault driver’s liability coverage.
Now that you know the different types of insurance, you will be able to find the one that is the best fit for your needs. Make sure you have the proper insurance to stay legal and financially protected. And always be sure to find out what is covered and what is excluded in the policy you choose.