Research for automobile insurance often can be never ending and exhausting. Without getting into all the little details of the whole industry you want to know what you need and what everything involves. What type of coverage do I really want or need?
Liability coverage covers any bodily injury or property damage which the insured driver is responsible for him or the other driver involved. A fixed dollar amount of coverage provided differs in each case. However, usually the insured driver can increase the amount of coverage if he feels that his coverage is lacking. Normally, the liability coverage is stated as a 3 part number. The lowest state-mandated number is 10/20/5. There are 5 states which require no liability such as: South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.
Split limit liability policies divide the coverage into two sections: the property damage coverage and bodily injury coverage. Often times these sections will divide themselves into smaller sections where you can pay minimum costs or maximum costs. Or the maximum payment per person and a maximum payment per accident would also be available.
Combined single limit coverage joins the property damage and the bodily injury damage under one limit. Paying for the reparation of the car and for medical bills of all involved would be paid under the same coverage as opposed to splitting as referred to above. Bodily injury coverage would not cover you while a passenger in someone else’s car nor would it cover you if you were driving someone else’s car. However, it would cover you if you were struck by a driver while walking.
Physical damage covers damage done to your car specifically. Other policies include other people’s cars as well.
Uninsured or underinsured coverage is available in most cases. This type of coverage will protect you when another driver has no insurance or not enough insurance. Most states only cover the medical injuries as opposed to the property damage done to the vehicle or anything inside the vehicle.
Medical coverage allows the insured driver and the passengers in the car to be covered under the insurance in case of an accident.
Often full coverage is referred to as Comprehensive and Collision Coverage. The term is not actually as broad as the term makes it sound. When your car’s value drops below a certain amount neither collision or comprehensive coverage are worth having.
Collision coverage is available merely for the damage of your car in case of a collision no matter whose fault it was. This type of coverage is usually optional except in the case of a car rental or taking out a loan for a car. Note that this type of coverage does not cover the other driver’s damage.
Comprehensive, however, covers a majority of the physical damage done to your car whether damaged by falling trees, storms, the breaking of the windshield, etc. Rates can go up if you are in a high risk area. For example, those living on the coast line, in Tornado Alley, or in an area on a fault line may see their rates or premium rise higher than another lower risk state. However, each state and area is different. In many cases, this type of coverage will also include a rental car but be sure to check and see if this is indeed the case with your coverage type.
Loan or Lease Insurance Options
An option for drivers leasing a car is GAP insurance. GAP insurance covers the difference between what the rental car is worth and how much you owe. Some states require GAP insurance in the case of an accident with a rental car.
Overall, you can see that there are many different types of coverage. As you are working through the different coverage possibilities, cross out the ones that you know are not even an option. This will make your task of choosing the right insurance a less daunting task. Be sure to research thoroughly and carefully and do not skimp because you may be sorry later. Take the time to find the right company and the right coverage for you. It will be worth it. Ask questions and question policies to see all the loopholes. You will be better off for it!
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