Everyone knows that they need car insurance before they go out on the road, but not everyone is aware of how varied car insurance coverage can actually be. Each state has its own individual guidelines in regards to what constitutes minimum coverage, but past that, drivers are left to their own devices. People across the country need to determine how much coverage they need, at what cost, and for which vehicles – there's no one-size-fits-all standard when it comes to auto insurance.
There are a few things you should keep in mind, generally speaking, when looking around at online car insurance quotes and the options that are available to you. First off, you'll obviously need to make sure that the coverage you obtain meets the minimum requirements listed by your state. Check with your local DMV if you're unsure about what they are. You'll also want to make sure you're covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets, according to a number of industry experts – otherwise, you'll be risking your own possessions should you be involved in an accident where you're liable for more funds than you can provide.
What kinds of car insurance are available?
Car insurance is made up of a number of different policies, and drivers need to investigate their options to determine which ones fulfill their needs, and to what extent.
First off, there's liability coverage, which aims to provide for the costs incurred by accidents you're at fault for. This coverage provides for money to those affected by accidents you cause, not for your car itself. There's also bodily injury liability insurance, which covers related costs: all expenses incurred due to injuries to individuals that occurred during an accident that you're liable for. Depending on how much you invest in that insurance, it may or may not cover the entirety of the expenses – usually there's a cap, which can range from $20,000 to more than $50,000.
Next up is property damage liability. This will pay for the damage that you cause another vehicle if you cause an accident that you end up liable for. This is related but separate from liability coverage, which aims to provide money to the victim of accidents, but not for specific purposes like bodily harm, or vehicle damage.
Personal injury protection is exactly what it sounds like – a form of auto insurance that covers both drivers and passengers against damages caused by an accident they themselves are liable for. Uninsured motorist coverage protects drivers against expenses caused by being in an accident where the liable driver doesn't have coverage themselves. Collision auto insurance covers repairs a car needs following an accident regardless of liability. Lastly, there's comprehensive car insurance, which covers drivers against the costs incurred by having their car stolen, vandalized, or otherwise damaged outside the confines of an auto accident.
What coverage do drivers really need?
In fact, drivers don't need any coverage beyond what their states require of them. However, merely maintaining minimum insurance coverage is not recommended, regardless of specifics. You're going to want to investigate the worth of your assets, the types of coverage available to you, your risk tolerance, the make of your car, and all other pertinent details before determining what kind of car insurance coverage is right for you.
As with many things related to automobiles, there's no golden standard – everything is specific to the situation of the driver at-hand. So compare car insurance quotes in your state as soon as possible, and make sure your coverage is right for you.