When you’ve been in a car accident, you need someone to have your back. By purchasing car insurance you can make sure that someone will. But there are many types of insurance that offer different kinds of protection. Which ones do you need? Let’s walk through the six major types to find out.
Liability is the one type of insurance everyone must carry. It protects other people when you’re responsible for an accident. There are two sides to liability coverage: bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. Bodily injury liability insurance pays medical bills, and it can also compensate people for things like lost income, and pain and suffering. Property damage liability insurance pays to repair or replace other people’s vehicles that you’ve damaged.
It can also cover the cost of fixing fences and other kinds of property that you may run into. Collision insurance protects your own vehicle after an accident, even if you’re the one at fault.
You will be required to buy it if you use a loan or lease to obtain your vehicle. Otherwise, getting this protection for your own car is your choice. Comprehensive insurance protects your car against damage not caused by an accident such as theft, falling objects, or natural disasters.
It’s usually purchased in combination with collision insurance and, like collision insurance, you’ll be required to get it if you have a loan or lease. What happens if you’re harmed by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your losses? You’re out of luck unless your policy includes uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Depending on where you live you may be required to get this type of insurance, even if it’s optional. It’s very affordable and provides important protection.
Now let’s talk about medical bills. If you’re injured in an accident, they can stack up fast but personal injury protection coverage sometimes called no-fault insurance can help with these costs. It makes your medical bills get paid quickly, no matter who is at fault, and it helps with other expenses like lost income, child care, or even a funeral. Personal injury protection is mandatory in 15 states, but even where it’s not required you may still be able to purchase it.
In some states, there’s a different form of insurance for medical expenses.
Medical payments coverage or med pay is similar to personal injury protection but is more limited in scope. Unlike personal injury protection, it won’t pay for lost income or most other non-medical expenses, but it does cover accident-related medical bills for you and your passengers supplementing other insurance coverage by paying any deductibles and co-pays they may have. Med Pay will cover funeral expenses as well. There are of course many other forms of insurance for car owners such as coverage for roadside assistance or a rental car while your car is being repaired, but these six are the most important ones to consider. For more information on insurance options, or to join the conversation on this topic, visit WalletHub’s types of car insurance pages.