Auto insurance is more than just a legal necessity or an expense to factor into your budget; it provides financial protection in case an accident leaves you responsible for property or medical damages to others.
Read your policy’s Declarations Page carefully in order to fully comprehend its coverage, then discuss your needs openly with your agent, broker, or insurance company.
Coverage options, deductibles and discounts all play an integral role in the cost of car insurance policies. A reputable agent can help you select one suitable to both your budget and needs.
Liability coverage pays for damage that you (or anyone using your car with permission) cause to other vehicles or property, usually within state-mandated minimum limits.
Collision coverage pays to repair your vehicle if it collides with another vehicle or object, rolls over, is damaged by vandalism, theft, weather events or other incidents unrelated to an accident – typically subject to a deductible payment. Medical payments coverage (med pay) provides payments for medical expenses for you and any passengers involved regardless of who caused an accident.
Liability coverage protects you against financial loss if you are found at fault in a car accident, by covering any property damage and bodily injury expenses up to your policy limits that arise as a result.
Your insurance policy’s first page contains vital details about its coverage such as policy number, effective/expiration dates, coverage limits, vehicle description and deductibles. In addition, it contains a statement of coverage which outlines all terms and conditions under which your policy provides coverage.
Understanding your auto insurance options can help you secure the coverage that best meets your needs at a price you can afford. Begin by answering some simple questions and receiving personalized rates from top carriers.
Medical payments coverage (Med Pay) helps pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills in an accident, regardless of who caused it. Often priced affordably and without deductible or copay requirements.
Coverage gaps between auto and health insurance may also be bridged through life insurance policies; additionally, this policy may pay your health deductibles or provide protection should you be hit by a car either as a pedestrian or while riding on your bicycle.
Medical payments coverage may not be mandatory in all states, but many drivers opt for it if their health insurance deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses are high. When combined with personal injury protection (PIP), this additional coverage can cover more of an accident’s expenses.
Collision coverage isn’t required by law in any state, but it is highly recommended as an added layer of protection in case your car is involved in an accident – regardless of who was at fault. As with comprehensive policies, collision has its own deductible you must meet before the insurance begins covering damages.
Collision coverage reimburses for damages sustained to your car due to collision with another vehicle or object (like trees, poles, or guardrails) but does not cover damage from potholes or rolling over. Many drivers choose collision insurance, while leasing or financing companies often require it as part of the terms.
Comprehensive car insurance (or full coverage car insurance) covers your vehicle against damage caused by events beyond your control, like falling trees, natural disasters or theft. Although comprehensive policies tend to cost more than their collision counterparts, comprehensive protection may be worth it for vehicles with higher cash values.
Both comprehensive and collision policies feature deductibles that must be paid before insurers will begin covering losses. Learn more about them in our guide to auto insurance. Comprehensive is optional but many lenders require it when leasing or financing vehicles.
While every state requires drivers to carry liability insurance, many drivers don’t. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – more commonly referred to as “UM/UIM coverage” – provides compensation when at-fault drivers don’t carry enough coverage or their limits are insufficient to fully cover an accident’s costs.
UM/UIM provides property damage and medical expenses coverage when an accident is caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver; it also protects pedestrians as well as family members living within your household, and can either be purchased individually or combined into one policy.