You know full well that it’s the law, but you’ve been driving around without car insurance for a while now. Why? Car insurance is of supreme importance to any driver, no matter how good you think you are. Accidents happen, plain and simple, and you need to be protected in case it does. Not all car insurance is the same, though, and you may be a little confused as to the concepts.
The first term you need to know is liability car insurance. This covers you from claims arising from an accident where there’s bodily damage or damage to property. Generally, there are three main sections of any liability car insurance policy: bodily injury liability coverage, liability coverage for damage to property, and uninsured coverage. The first type of coverage protects you in the case of an accident, for which you are at fault, and others have been injured. Your liability car insurance company will pay any legitimate claims for medical expenses or lost wages. If you’ve run into someone’s wall or the side of their house, you’ll need liability insurance for property damage, which will pay for repairs. In the instance where you are not necessarily at fault and the other driver does not have liability car insurance, you are protected by uninsured, or under-insured, motorist coverage.
Liability car insurance is not the same as collision car insurance. As you can see, nothing was mentioned fixing your car in the above description. That’s because it’s not covered under a simple liability car insurance policy. You’ll need collision car insurance unless you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket. Collision car insurance covers repairs to your car in the case of, you guessed it, a collision with another object. If you’re one of those people who get their kicks by running over poor, defenseless animals, this coverage isn’t for you. You’ll need comprehensive car insurance to fix that cracked headlight.
Generally, you can choose your deductible rate, i.e., the amount that your car insurance company will pay out to repair your car. Typically, the higher the deductible, the lower the car insurance premium. You will definitely need collision car insurance if you are leasing a vehicle, if you own a fairly new car or if you are making payments to a finance company. Owners of much older cars may want to skip this form of car insurance altogether. If your car is totaled, the car insurance company will pay you that market value of your car, minus the value of your deductible. If you are able to absorb the cost of replacing your car yourself, you may want to forgo this.