Buying car insurance can be confusing. Here's a plain language guide to auto insurance coverages.
Bodily Injury Liability: Covers you if you injure someone else in an accident.
Property Damage Liability: This pays for damage you may cause to someone else’s property. This can mean damage to someone else’s car, but it also includes damage to other structures such as signs, fences, or buildings.
Collision: If your car is damaged in a crash, regardless of whose fault it is, fixing it is covered here. There is usually a deductible of $250-$1000 you need to pay before the insurance company will kick in.
If you have a loan or your car is leased, you'll likely be required to have collision.
What does your insurance cover?
Comprehensive: If there's sudden damage to your car that's not from a crash, your car is covered. Think falling trees, flooding, vandalism, theft, or, weirdly, a crash with an animal like a deer.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists: One out of every eight drivers does not carry auto coverage. This will pay your and your passenger’s medical bills if you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured motorist who is at fault.
In other instances, an at-fault driver may have liability insurance, but his or her policy’s limits do not cover the full extent of your injuries. In such cases, Underinsured insurance will cover the difference up to a certain amount.
Personal Injury Protection: Covers the medical and rehabilitative costs for you and your passengers after you’re injured in a car collision. PIP also covers lost wages and payment for services like child care and grocery shopping if necessary during your recovery.
Medical Payments: Covers the medical and rehabilitative costs for you and your passengers after you’re injured in a car collision. Also covers you when you’re a passenger in someone else’s car, or if you’re hit by a car while a pedestrian or cyclist.
(In most states, either PIP or Medical Payments is available, not both.)
Roadside Assistance: If you need a tow when your car breaks down, a flat tire fixed, or to retrieve the keys you locked in the car, roadside assistance will cover you.
Loan/Gap: If you total your car but still owe money on your auto loan, this coverage pays the difference. Otherwise, you could end up still owing money on a car you can't drive.
And that's a wrap! Check out our complete guide to buying car insurance for more information.