Know the Basics of Auto Insurance Coverage


There comes a time for all car owners to get familiar with the auto insurance contract they signed with their insurance provider. Some times this happens more abruptly and sudden, such as when the unthinkable happens and you’re sifting through the aftermath of a car accident and you’re looking for answers. Hopefully, that’s not the case… Hopefully you’re just a mildly cautious and conscientious person who is looking far enough ahead in the right direction and woke up one morning with the notion in mind to brush up on some essentials outlined in your auto insurance protection plan. Good for you.

Author’s note: I don’t know why they just don’t add insurance into the sticker price of the car. In every state all across this country, auto insurance is a standard requirement for all vehicles. It seems like the car manufacturers, insurance companies and drivers would be in a win-win-win situation. Back to the article…

Let’s go over the types of car insurance coverages available. Firstly, your state legislature requires that you possess a minimum auto insurance policy in order to legally operate a vehicle. And depending on your state’s legal system, some auto insurance coverages are required while some are only optional. Most states follow a tort system which means that someone must be found to be at fault for an accident, while others follow a no-fault system. States using a tort system tend to have lighter car insurance coverage requirements while no-fault state’s requirements are more robust.

Now, we know that you’re a responsible driver and you’re never going to get in an accident (knock on wood). So when the state requires you to get liability insurance, the insurance company is not providing you insurance for your protection… the insurance company is charging you a yearly premium for protection against you! And that goes for property damage liability coverage too! What you’re really doing by paying your premium for basic coverage is giving your insurance company piece of mind that you’re never going to be found at fault for an accident (in tort system states) and that they are never going to see a medical bill, auto repair bill or any other property damage bill which they would be otherwise obligated to pay! Sounds exorbitant doesn’t it? But, in every state, no matter what system they use, liability and property damage auto insurance coverage is a standard requirement. So, responsible driver or not, it’s here to stay.

Another coverage type which some states pick up as a requirement is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. I find this coverage to be quite necessary. And if your state doesn’t require it it’s still good to have it added on in case one of these blokes side swipe you. Comprehensive and collision coverage go hand-in-hand and are rarely required by the state but they also provide great protection from unforeseen events.

The point is not to dig too deeply into your auto insurance policy and dissect every word, sentence and phrase. Just getting the gist is good enough. How’s your coffee?

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