So you just got your first car. And whether it’s a brand new sports car or a gently used mini-van, you’re probably pretty proud of yourself. Auto insurance is a crucial part of owning a car. It may seem a bit confusing but really – it is not complicated at all
If you own and drive a car, the law says you have to have some form of auto insurance. How much and what type varies from state to state. But regardless of what the law says, you need to be insured because if you get to an accident, it can be very costly business.
What exactly does auto insurance cover? Well, lots of things from vehicles to property to physical bodies. There are six types of coverage – some that are required and some that are optional. Let me break it down for you.
1. Bodily Injury Liability
If you injure someone in an auto accident, not only will you feel really bad about it but you’ll also be responsible for paying their medical bills. That’s where Bodily Injury Liability comes into play. Now you will probably want to get more than the minimum required by state law because if you get sued you are going to need to be protected.
2. Personal Injury Coverage
Of course, if you get into an accident, you might be the one who gets injured. So that’s where you will need Personal Injury Coverage. This will cover your medical bills, lost wages and sometimes even, heaven forbid – funeral costs.
3. Property Damage Liability
Chances are, even if you avoid hurting yourself or someone else in the accident, the car you hit is probably a bit worse for wear. Property Damage Liability covers you for damage to another person’s car or any other property you might have hit during your accident. This covers you for lamp posts, fences, stop signs, or the broad side of a barn.
4. Collision Coverage
Of course, if you crashed into something or flipped your car over, your vehicle is the one that needs to be repaired – that’s where Collision Coverage comes in handy.
5. Comprehensive Coverage
But then again, damage to your car may be caused by something other than crashing into another vehicle or an object. You’ve got to contend with fires, falling objects, missiles, explosions, earthquakes, hale, floods, vandalism, riots and run-ins with wild animals. So basically, Comprehensive pretty much covers you in case you decide to drive to the set of an action-adventure movie.
6. Uninsured or Under-Insured Motorist Coverage
The final type of coverage is for people who won’t see this video and are foolish enough to drive either with not enough insurance or with no insurance at all. With Uninsured and Under-Insured Motorist Coverage, you’re protected against a person who hits your car, can’t pay for damages, or it’s a hit and run accident.
Alright, that’s all of them. I bet some of you had no idea there are so many types of coverage just for your car. It’s important to understand each of these so you could decide what coverage you need to best protect yourself.
But don’t try to sneak by with as little insurance as possible. At the very least, you should have a minimum of $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person and $300,000 protection per accident. Oftentimes, accidents cost far more than the minimum required by most states.
Research and Selection Tips
And remember, there are a lot of auto insurance companies out there so do your research and find out who can give you the best deal and who has a good record of dealing with customers. Never choose on price alone. You do make sure that the company is financially stable and deals well with their customers.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting involved in an accident is make sure you’re not distracted while driving. Recently, cellphone use and especially – texting – has become one of the greatest causes of accidents. Use your common sense, put the phone down and drive.
Alright, I think you are ready to hit the road.
Get your car insurance quotes online now.