Depending on the state in which you live, you’ll be faced with different requirements regarding how much coverage you carry on your auto insurance policy. Although states around the country carry different requirements, there are some parts of auto policies that remain constant: bodily injury liability, personal injury protection, property damage liability, collision coverage, and comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily Injury Liability refers to any injuries you yourself (the policyholder) are responsible for. In other words, if you are deemed the at-fault party in an auto accident and the person or person in the other vehicle or vehicles sustain injuries, you may be responsible for paying for their medical care.
Liability Insurance is one of the most important coverages you can purchase. This is due to the fact that serious accidents may involve serious injuries to one or more persons. You may end up being sued for large amounts of money, and your insurance policy will only cover you up to your own policy’s limits. This means that if any medical expenses exceed your limits, you are forced to cover the rest out of your own pocket. We recommend limits of $250,000 for Bodily Injuries and at least $100,000 for Property Damage. You don’t want injured parties coming after your home, your savings, or assets. Protect yourself.
Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Any treatment for injuries sustained in the auto collision will be covered under this portion of your policy (up to your policy’s limits). This also includes medical payments, lost wages, and the cost of replacing services usually performed by the injured party. This coverage may also cover the cost of funerals.
Property Damage Liability
Any damage you cause to someone else’s property will be covered under this section of your auto insurance policy. This also includes drivers whom you give permission to drive your vehicle. In addition to a vehicle, this type of coverage may also cover trees, telephone poles, fences, buildings, or other structures you may strike with your vehicle.
This type of coverage covers costs for damage to your car resulting in a collision with another vehicle, or an object i.e. a tree or telephone pole. Damage from potholes is also covered under this category.
Although you are always responsible for paying your insurance deductible first, collision coverage will reimburse you for the costs to repair your car to its state before the collision occurred. If you are deemed not at fault in the accident, your insurance company will attempt to recover the amount they paid from the other party’s insurance company. If in this process, your insurance company is successful, you will also be reimbursed the amount of your deductible.
Any losses due to theft or any damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object will be covered here. Comprehensive coverage covers fires, falling objects, missiles, explosions, earthquakes, windstorms, hail, floods, vandalism, riots, malicious mischief, or contact with animals i.e. birds or deer.
It is important to understand that comprehensive insurance coverage must be purchased separately from property damage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you, a member of your family, or someone you deem a designated driver is hit by an uninsured motorist or someone who does not carry enough coverage to pay for the damages you sustained during an accident, if you have this type of coverage on your auto policy, your insurance company will handle the costs and then reimburse you. A hit-and-run situation also falls under this category, so if you are ever hit by someone who leaves the scene of the accident, you will be covered.