Drivers in every state are required to have auto liability insurance, such as personal injury protection (PIP).
Car insurance liability requirements vary by state, and include a minimum amount for bodily injury costs per person and per accident as well as a minimum for property damage liability. If you cause an accident, liability coverage pays those costs, up to the limits set for your policy.
In addition to required liability coverage, you may also want collision coverage to protect your investment in your vehicle. And depending upon your specific needs and risks, you may also want comprehensive coverage – now known as “other than collision.” Together, collision and comprehensive can provide protection for everything from accidents to theft and vandalism.
There are three primary types of insurance coverage:
Liability insurance: Covers the costs associated with injuries and property damage you are responsible for if you cause an accident.
Collision: Covers the costs to repair or replace your damaged or destroyed vehicle after an accident.
Comprehensive: Formally known as “other than collision,” this portion of your policy covers damage to your vehicle from causes such as auto theft and weather damage.
There are also several different types of coverage which may be available to you, including:
Medical payments: Covers the costs of injuries for you and others in your vehicle after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Personal injury protection (PIP): Similar to medical payments coverage, PIP coverage can pay your medical costs after an accident, regardless of fault. But PIP offers expanded coverage that includes coverage for lost wages.
Rental reimbursement: Pays a certain amount daily for a replacement vehicle if yours is in the shop for repairs.
Towing and roadside service: Provides emergency roadside assistance and towing to help you get your vehicle back on the road or to a shop for repair.
As you consider your policy needs, it is important to keep the coverage limits in mind. The costs of a severe crash can quickly exceed the limits. If that occurs, you will have to pay for costs out of your own pocket.