Auto insurance policies provide coverage for:
- Physical Damage – such as damage to or theft of your vehicle
- Liability – your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property
- Medical Payments– the cost of treating injuries to you and your passengers
Auto insurance policies are priced individually to let you customize coverage to suit your exact needs and budget.
Is auto insurance mandatory?
Auto insurance requirements vary by State but most States do mandate liability coverage. If you are financing a car, your lender may also have its own requirements. Nearly every state requires car owners to carry:
- Bodily injury liability – which covers costs associated with injuries or death that you or another permissive user causes while driving your car.
- Property damage liability – which reimburses others for damage that you, or another driver operating your car, cause to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building, or utility pole.
- Medical payments – which provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – reimburses you when an accident is caused by a driver who does not have auto insurance. You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which will cover costs when another driver lacks adequate coverage to pay the costs of a serious accident.
What other coverage is available on an auto policy?
While State-mandated auto insurance covers the damage your car causes, it does not cover damage to your own car. To cover your own car, you should consider these optional coverages:
- Collision – reimburses you for damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or other object—e.g., a tree or guardrail—when you’re at fault. While collision coverage will not reimburse you for mechanical failure or normal wear-and-tear on your car, it will cover damage from potholes or from rolling your car.
- Comprehensive – provides coverage against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, such as fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees, and other hazards.
- Glass Coverage – provides coverage for windshield damage, which is common. Some auto policies include no-deductible glass coverage, which also includes side windows, rear windows, and glass sunroofs.
- Gap Coverage – Collision and comprehensive only cover the market value of your car, not what you paid for it, and new cars depreciate quickly. If your car is totaled or stolen, there may be a “gap” between what you owe on the vehicle and your insurance coverage. To cover this, you may want to look into purchasing gap insurance to pay the difference.
- Rental Reimbursement – provides coverage for a replacement vehicle should yours be involved in a covered disablement
- Roadside Assistance – provides coverage for lockouts, dead batteries, etc.