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Auto insurance is for people who either own and/or drive a vehicle. The automobile policy has multiple different coverages. Most commonly coverage falls into four different categories: Liability, Physical Damage, Medical Coverage, and Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Nearly all states at a minimum require vehicles driven on the road to carry Liability insurance. Liability insurance provides coverage for damage caused to others if you’re at fault in a covered loss; whether you injure them and/or damage their property. This insurance can include the services of an attorney to defend you if sued. Some policies separate liability coverage into two different parts; Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability. Bodily Injury pays for covered damage if you hurt someone. Property damage pays for covered damage if you damage someone’s property.
Physical Damage provides damage to your covered vehicle if it has a covered loss. This coverage is not a requirement by the state but can be required if the vehicle is financed or leased. There are four main parts under most policies that you can purchase; Comprehensive, Collision, Rental Reimbursement/Transportation Expenses, and Towing/Roadside Assistance. Some policies can even provide new car replacement, loan/lease gap insurance
- Comprehensive coverage helps pay for covered damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision. Common comprehensive losses include theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, or storm damage.
- Collision coverage can help pay for damage to the covered auto if your car hits another car or object, gets hit by another car or if your vehicle rolls over.
- Rental reimbursement or transportation expenses coverage helps cover the cost of a car rental while your covered vehicle is out of commission due to a covered loss.
- Roadside assistance or towing coverage may provide towing service if your covered vehicle is disabled, as well as roadside services such as a jump start, fuel delivery, flat tire change and lockout assistance.
Medical Coverage provides coverage for you and/or your passengers if you are in a covered loss in a covered vehicle. Some states may also require you purchase Personal Injury Protection which usually pays out first if you or your passengers are injured in an accident. Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection pay regardless of fault.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage provides coverage in the event you are not at fault in a covered loss for injuries you and/or your passengers sustain in an accident and/or damage to your vehicle. Coverage will only apply in the event the other party doesn’t have insurance (uninsured) or your damages exceed their policy limits (underinsured). Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist is optional coverage in most states and only certain states offer the Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage.
*There are many other coverages that may be available with some carriers but these are the industry standard coverages.