Family looking out the driver side windows

Learn About Essential Types of Coverage

When you compare pricing, you'll need to select the coverages you include in your policy. We'll outline the aspects no policy should be without on this page.

Liability: Bodily Injury and Property Damage

The liability portion of your plan is the portion that is legally mandated in most states. State law usually requires motorists to carry certain amounts of bodily injury and property damage coverage. For example, if your state had requirement levels of $20,000/$40,000/$15,000, this would mean you would need to carry $20,000 of bodily injury protection per person injured, $40,000 of bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 of property damage liability. Because of these laws, this protection is usually included in estimates by default. It would shield you from lawsuits in the event you wrecked property or injured a driver, passenger, or pedestrian in a collision. It also pays for your legal defense in the event of a collision-related lawsuit. You may need to present proof of your coverage at the motor vehicles department in order to get a license and/or register your vehicle.

Protecting Your Car

You can still get affordable quotes on a plan that includes collision, which is not required by law. This pays for the cost of repairs to your vehicle after a covered accident. If the car is totaled, this will pay to replace the vehicle. Most insurers reimburse the policyholder for the actual cash value of the vehicle, which is the purchase price of the car less depreciation. If you have a fast auto loan and owe more than your car or truck's actual cash value, then you may have to pay the difference (though this could vary on the insurer). When you request quick auto insurance quotes, you will probably have to select a deductible amount. The deductible is how much you must pay out of pocket before your benefits kick in.

Comprehensive: Damages Unrelated to Crashes

If you choose full coverage, your plan will include collision and comprehensive as well as liability protection. Comprehensive protection is meant to pay for damage to your automobile that is not the result of a collision. For example, if your car is stolen, your comprehensive would pay for the loss. It is also subject to a deductible. The higher your deductibles, the lower your rates will be.

Protection against Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

Your state may also require you to purchase uninsured or underinsured driver add-ons. This pays for the injuries you and your passengers sustain as a result of a collision with an uninsured/underinsured driver. Depending on your state, the they may also pay for what the motorist did to your vehicle. Talk to your agent to find out how much uninsured motorist protection you must carry, if any.