Vehicle insurance, also known as auto insurance or car insurance, is a type of insurance that provides financial protection to drivers in case of accidents, theft, or damage to their vehicles. Vehicle insurance is mandatory in most countries and states, and the laws regarding coverage and minimum requirements vary by location.
This covers the cost of damages or injuries you may cause to other drivers or their property. Liability insurance is typically required by law and is usually broken down into two categories: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
Liability coverage is usually divided into two categories:
- Bodily injury liability: This covers the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from injuries to other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians in an accident you caused.
- Property damage liability: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing other people’s property that was damaged in an accident you caused, such as their vehicle or other objects.
Liability coverage does not cover damages to your own vehicle or injuries you or your passengers may suffer in an accident. For this reason, many drivers choose to purchase additional coverage such as collision, comprehensive, or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own medical expenses and vehicle repairs.
Collision coverage typically pays for damages to your vehicle resulting from collisions with other vehicles or objects, such as trees or buildings. It may also cover damages resulting from single-vehicle accidents, such as hitting a curb or pothole. The coverage limit for collision coverage is usually the actual cash value of your vehicle at the time of the accident, minus your deductible.
A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
If you have a $1,000 deductible and the cost of repairing your vehicle is $5,000, you would pay the first $1,000 and your insurance company would cover the remaining $4,000.
Also known as “comp coverage,” is a type of auto insurance that covers damage to your vehicle from non-collision event, such as:
- Natural disasters
- Falling objects
Comprehensive coverage is typically optional, but many drivers choose to add it to their policies for added protection.
Comprehensive coverage may cover the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle if it is stolen, damaged by hail, flood, or fire, or if it hits an animal on the road. It may also cover the cost of repairing or
replacing broken windows, windshields, or other glass components of your vehicle.
When purchasing comprehensive coverage, it’s important to consider the value of your vehicle and the likelihood of non-collision events in your area. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters or vehicle theft, comprehensive coverage may be a valuable addition to your policy.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
A type of auto insurance coverage that provides medical and related expenses coverage to you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. PIP is a no-fault coverage and is required in some states.
PIP coverage typically pays for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Other related expenses resulting from an accident, up to the limit of your policy.
In addition to medical expenses, PIP coverage may also cover expenses for:
- Funeral costs
- Even replacement services such as child care or housekeeping.
The coverage limit for PIP coverage varies by state and by policy, and the amount of coverage you need may depend on your state’s requirements, your driving habits, and your budget. Some states require a minimum amount of PIP coverage, while others may allow you to choose the amount of coverage you want.
PIP coverage is not a substitute for health insurance and does not cover non-accident-related medical expenses. PIP coverage also does not cover damages to your vehicle or liability for damages to other people’s property or injuries.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
Also known as UM/UIM coverage, is a type of auto insurance coverage that provides protection in case you are involved in an accident with a driver who is either uninsured or underinsured. This coverage is optional in most states, but some states require it by law.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, their insurance will not be able to cover the cost of your damages or injuries. UM/UIM coverage provides coverage for these situations and can help cover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident.
The coverage limit varies by state and policy and is usually expressed as two separate limits: one for
bodily injury and one for property damage.
When purchasing UM/UIM coverage, it’s important to consider the likelihood of being involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, as well as the cost of the coverage.
When purchasing vehicle insurance, it’s important to consider the type and amount of coverage you need based on your location, driving habits, and budget. You can work with an insurance agent or use online resources to compare policies and prices from different insurance companies. Additionally, make sure to review your policy periodically to ensure that your coverage remains adequate for your needs.