If you’re shopping for auto insurance, you’ve probably noticed that there are quite a few different types of coverage. With so many available choices, how do you know which ones you actually need?
In order to find the best auto insurance policy rates for your needs and budget, you need to understand the most common types of car insurance, including what’s covered and what’s required. And we’re here to help you do just that. Keep reading as we cover the most common types of coverage that will protect you, your passengers, and your vehicle.
Liability insurance is what protects other drivers and their property from damage you cause. This type of coverage pays for the costs of repairing any vehicles, as well as the medical bills from resulting injuries.
Most states legally require all drivers to purchase at least the minimum amount of liability coverage set by state law. However, if you can afford it, it’s in your best interest to purchase liability coverage that exceeds your state’s minimum liability coverage requirement. Why? If you’re at fault for an accident, you will be responsible for any claims that exceed your coverage’s upper limit—which means you’d have to pay them out of your own pocket. As a result, purchasing as much liability insurance as you can afford will maximize your protection. This is especially true in the case of a serious accident, so that you can cover yourself in a potential lawsuit without jeopardizing your personal assets.
Nearly every state requires car owners to carry the following two components of auto liability coverage:
If you live in a no-fault insurance state, you’re also legally required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP). This type of insurance covers the personal bodily injury damage— including medical expenses and loss of income —of both you and your passengers in the event of a covered accident, regardless of who was at fault.
The exact cost you pay for car insurance will depend on your state and the amount of coverage you purchase. However, liability insurance costs an average of $590 annually. Your monthly premium will increase if you raise your liability limits. However, higher levels of coverage are only slightly more expensive than the state minimum, and they can save significant amounts of money if you cause an accident.
What happens if you get into an accident with a driver who lacks adequate coverage to pay the costs of a serious accident? Worse still, what if that person has no auto insurance whatsoever? That’s where uninsured and underinsured coverage comes in.
There are four types of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage:
Both types of coverage are required in some states and optional in others. However, adding them to your policy is a step toward greater financial protection.
When compared with other coverage types in an auto insurance policy, the cost for uninsured or underinsured coverage is relatively low. However, it does vary among states, and is usually higher in those with more uninsured drivers.
However, it does vary among states. New York, New Jersey, Maine and Massachusetts are among the states with the lowest percentages of uninsured motorists in the country— at around 3% to 5% —which results in some of the lowest costs. However, Mississippi, Michigan and Tennessee have the most uninsured drivers, around 24% to 29%, resulting in higher costs.
Rates can also be significantly different between insurance companies, but you can expect an average cost of anywhere from $50 to $275 per year.
Most states legally require all drivers to have basic auto insurance, which covers the costs if you cause an accident that results in injury or property damage to another driver. However, this type of basic insurance usually does not pay for damage to your own car.
If you want financial protection for your own vehicle, you’ll need to purchase physical coverage — collision and comprehensive. This optional coverage is made up of two main components:
The specific amount you’ll pay depends on where you live, how much coverage you purchase, and which insurance carrier you choose. However, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,112 and $1,925 per year for a standard policy.
Keeping your monthly premium low starts with finding the best possible coverage rates—and we’ve done the search for you. Thanks to our fast and affordable online insurance quotes, you can choose an auto insurance plan and get your coverage—all in a matter of minutes. Get your quote today and join the rest of the drivers who are saving every month.