Drivers need automobile insurance. It’s a reality, and in many states it is illegal not to have any. There are many options available to you, so it’s important to get the coverage that fits into your specific budget and needs. This is how you build your own insurance plan or policy.
Some states have what are known as “No Fault” rules and regulations. Policies under these rules are required to insure policyholders regardless of culpability in an accident. This is also referred to as personal injury protection or PIP. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if you live in a no-fault state, and how it will affect your policy.
There are many different types of automotive insurance coverage which you have to choose from – and some that you must purchase, no matter what, in order to drive legally. Below are the standard types of coverage which you will have an option to choose in most areas:
Liability is simple to understand, it covers any damages for which you are liable. It covers others if you are at fault in an accident. You and your car are not covered by this insurance. This is required by all states, though exceptions can be made in certain states for individuals who can show that they can pay the state requirement out of pocket.
Personal injury protection covers you, passengers, and others listed in the policy. It does not safeguard your vehicle, but pays for your medical expenses. In certain policies, it will also cover lost wages and other forms of damages. It is available to you regardless who was at fault, and is mandatory in certain states.
Next come the uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist insurance policies. They are oftentimes lumped together because they perform a similar function, but must be purchased separately. Both of these cover you, passengers, and household members in the policy for bodily injury if the other driver is at fault. The difference is that uninsured motorist protects you in the event that the other driver has no insurance, and underinsured motorist safeguards you if the guilty party has inadequate insurance.
Collision and comprehensive are also mainstays of many policies. Collision covers your car in the event of a car crash, be it with another car, structure, or object.
Comprehensive covers you for damages resulting from vandalism, theft, or acts of god. These two are usually purchased together, and have a deductible. A deductible is the dollar amount you are willing to pay, before the insurance covers you up to the fair market value of your car.
Gap insurance is a good supplement to collision and comprehensive. Sometimes when your car is totaled, your lease or loan is actually more than the market value of the car. This unexpected expense between what collision and comprehensive will pay and your car’s market value is insured by gap coverage.
It is also a good idea to have roadside assistance, because it covers you in many unfortunate situations. If you locked yourself out of your car or need towing, generally this type of coverage will dispatch someone to come to your rescue.
Lastly, we have car rental reimbursement. This is optional, but helpful because while your car is in the shop and being repaired, you oftentimes have to rent a car in the meantime. This coverage helps reimburse or pay for your rental expenses. Though bear in mind that there is usually a time and dollar amount limit imposed on how long and how much the automobile auto insurance will cover you for.
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