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Auto Insurance

What to know about car insurance

Virtually everyone who owns and/or operates a motor vehicle needs to have a certain level of auto insurance coverage to protect themselves and other individuals should an accident occur. It is also mandated by law in the many states and required by lenders should you have a loan on your car.

The kinds of insurance

Car insurance policy coverage varies from the bare minimum to full coverage with all the bells and whistles. Liability insurance is what most states require as the minimum amount required by law. The liability portion of your coverage is what pays for damages to other vehicles and property that are caused (or deemed as such) by you in an accident. Collision insurance handles the damages to your vehicle from a crash, while comprehensive helps with damage caused by such events as weather, vandalism or theft. Simply put, with comprehensive coverage, insurance pays for damage to your auto caused by an event other than a collision. Some states may also mandate that you carry personal injury protection as well; this coverage is for medical expenses not covered by health insurance should you be injured in an accident.

The need for insurance

It is a forgone conclusion that anyone who operates a motor vehicle needs at the very least liability coverage. Again, should you have a loan on your car, your lender will mandate you to have not only liability but collision and comprehensive as well. It’s a bit of a no-brainer to also carry proper coverage on a newer car, even if you paid for it outright. A car is no small investment and it’s just common sense, really. Note that presently there are 12 states that mandate drivers to obtain personal injury protection coverage.

How it works

Should you be involved in an accident, you simply file a claim with your insurer as soon as possible. If you’re at fault, your insurance company will handle whatever damages are covered under your policy after you have paid your previously agreed-to deductible amount (assuming also that you have paid your premiums as well). If the other driver were to be at fault, then his or her insurance company will pay.

The benefits

There are two big benefits in purchasing auto insurance: There is coverage for any loss you might suffer and there is protection for liability. In obtaining proper insurance coverage, you help to ensure you will be compensated for damage to property (including your vehicle) and that you will have the ability to pay for damages to other driver’s cars and any additional property damage if you are the one who caused the accident.

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