Understanding Auto Insurance Coverage: the Basics

For consumers, understanding auto insurance coverage is an important part of being able to get the right protection at an affordable price. Before going shopping for coverage, it’s important for buyers to consider their needs carefully so that they can get the right type and level of protection.

Physical damage car insurance protects the policyholder’s own vehicle against different types of loss. Comprehensive coverage pays out when the loss is due to an event that doesn’t involve striking an inanimate object, such as hail, flooding, fire and vandalism. It also pays out if the car is stolen and not recovered. Collision coverage pays out when the damage to the vehicle is caused by striking something or in a rollover accident.

Liability insurance coverage is put in place to pay for claims made by the occupants of the other vehicle in an accident. It pays out for medical expenses, and may also compensate accident victims for economic losses suffered as a result of the accident. In some states, accident victims can sue the at-fault driver in an accident for pain and suffering.

Property damage liability coverage is used to pay for repairs to the other driver’s vehicle following an accident. It also pays for repairs to public property damaged or destroyed in the incident, such as fences, guard rails, side walks, sign posts and mail boxes.