In most parts of the United States, if you drive without the minimum required auto insurance, you will likely lose your driving privileges for a period of time and may even be required to pay a steep fine. However, this minimum liability insurance is generally just a starting point when purchasing auto insurance. Most car owners will need additional coverage to both protect their investment in their vehicle and to guard against liability that exceeds the minimum coverage amounts.
Types of auto insurance to consider
1. Additional liability coverage. Although the required minimum liability insurance coverage varies from state to state, it is usually rather low, possibly not enough to cover all of the expenses associated with a court settlement if a person or property should be severely injured or damaged as a result of your actions behind the wheel.
2. Collision coverage. Collision insurance helps to pay for your car to be repaired or replaced should it be damaged in a traffic accident. Virtually all such insurance carries a deductible. That’s the amount of money that you will pay per accident before the insurance coverage kicks in. In general, the higher the deductible, the lower your insurance premiums will be.
3. Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance helps to pay for your vehicle to be repaired or replaced should it be damaged when you aren’t driving. This could include damage from hail while the car is parked in your drive, damage from a tree limb falling on the car, or window damage from thieves trying to break into your car.
4. Rental car coverage. This relatively inexpensive additional coverage is often bundled with collision and comprehensive coverage. It helps to reimburse you for the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired after a covered traffic accident or incident.
5. Medical payments. Medical payments helps cover expenses relating to the driver and any passengers being injured (or killed) as a result of an accident in your vehicle. This differs from liability coverage in that it covers the expenses of those in your car as opposed to those in the other vehicles.
Finding the right auto insurance coverage for you and your family doesn’t have to be complicated. A good auto insurance agent can help you put together a portfolio of coverage that best suits your needs without your having to pay for insurance that you don’t really need.