When it comes to auto insurance, many people get confused. Undoubtedly, choosing the right policy is very important. What is the point of paying for a policy which leaves you underinsured? It is equally unnecessary to add coverage which you don’t really need. Many people pay too much for auto insurance without even knowing it.
It is very important to understand the fundamentals. First of all, you need to know that your policy is in reality a package of different types of coverage. Secondly, there are types of coverage which are required by the state you live in. In most cases they are Bodily injury liability (BIL), Personal injury protection (PIP) and Property damage liability (PDL) coverage. The minimum amount of cover vary from state to state. See Florida No Fault Insurance requirements for additional information.
Bodily injury liability – you must remember that BIL provides protection in case you injure or kill someone while driving your car. Additionally, if another party decides to sue you after an accident you have caused, Bodily injury liability coverage will provide for legal defense. A serious accident may become very expensive so its wise to have enough cover to safeguard your personal assets. BIL is with regards to people’s injuries, not your vehicle. If you have more than one car, try to keep the BIL coverage the same for all of them.
Property damage liability – this part of the policy is designed to cover other people’s property damaged during an accident. PDL also gives you legal defense if another party files a lawsuit for property damages.
Personal injury protection – in some states closely linked with No-fault. It covers the medical expenses of the passengers in your car, including the driver. Depending on the policy and insurer, you may also be covered if injured as a pedestrian.
Experts always recommend to get more cover than the state’s required minimum.
Additional Auto Insurance Coverages
What other coverages may be useful to have? Well, it all depends on your circumstances, but here are the most common ones:
Uninsured motorists coverage – in the last few years more and more people are driving uninsured. It can be blamed on the economy or the lack of social responsibility, but either way you need to protect yourself and your family against such drivers. Uninsured motorists coverage is highly recommended and not that expensive in most states.
Comprehensive physical damage coverage – if you want your car to be protected against fire, flood or theft, this is the coverage you need. Of course, it is hardly worth it adding it to your policy if you car doesn’t have a lot of value. Having higher deductibles will keep the cost of this coverage low.
Collision coverage – if you are hit by another car or object or your car hits another vehicle, collision coverage will pay for the damages to your vehicle. Again, only worth it if you driver a newer car and your deductible comes into play.
These are pretty much the main coverages that you need. Decide wisely which ones you need and which cover is not for you. Always go with more than the minimum required and consult an insurance expert if in doubt.