Personal automobile insurance covers private passenger vehicles. It provides protection against economic loss to an insured from bodily injury or property damage to others (liability) arising from the operation, maintenance, or use of a covered automobile. Coverage may also be purchased for damage to vehicles owned by you (Collision & Other than Collision).
While it may appear difficult to read, it is extremely beneficial to understand your personal auto insurance policy. The main purpose of your personal auto insurance is to transfer some of the risks of driving from yourself to your insurance company. By transferring that risk, you save yourself from the heavy financial burden that can come after an accident. Your policy can pay for these losses, give you peace of mind, and satisfy legal requirements.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverage
Generally, auto policies include several different types of coverage, all of which may be priced differently. For instance, insurance may cover:
Bodily Injury Liability
This type of coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages or income, pain and suffering, and even funeral expenses for those injured in an accident where you were legally responsible for their injuries. This coverage also pays for the legal and court costs to defend you in a covered lawsuit. This type of coverage is required in most states.
Property Damage Liability
If you are responsible for causing an accident, you are legally held responsible for repairs to another person’s vehicle or property. Property damage coverage not only covers the cost to repair the other person’s car, but it also covers repair costs of anything you hit with your vehicle, such as a street lamp, fence or building. This type of coverage is required in most states.
This type of auto insurance coverage pays for damage to your car as the result of a collision with another vehicle. Even if you are at fault for causing an accident, this type of coverage will reimburse you for the cost of fixing your car once you have paid the out-of-pocket deductible amount. If you are not at fault, your insurance company can seek reimbursement from another driver to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle. Collision coverage is optional in all states. However, if your automobile is financed, your bank or lending institution will require you to have this coverage.
This coverage protects you for losses due to hazards not caused by a collision with another vehicle. This includes damages that are the result of theft, vandalism, fires, falling objects, earthquakes and storms, or contact with animals, such as deer. Comprehensive coverage is optional in all states. Though, like Collision coverage, if your vehicle is financed, your bank or lending institution will require you to have this coverage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This policy protects you and other passengers in your automobile if you are injured in an accident by a motorist who is uninsured and held legally responsible for your injuries. It pays the medical expenses and related expenses you have incurred up to the coverage limits you select.