Additional Car Insurance Coverage Options
If you’re getting car insurance quotes, you may be overwhelmed with all the options. Most car insurance agents will be happy to sell you a policy that covers the state’s required minimums, but you may need more car insurance than your state requires. We’ll talk about several of the additional coverage options, and explain what they do:
Personal Injury and Property Damage
Many states require all drivers to carry some level of personal injury and property damage. Personal injury covers other people’s bodily injuries or death if you are responsible. Bodily injury can include medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. You should buy enough car insurance to cover you if you get sued without jeopardizing your personal assets.
Property damage covers you if your car causes damage to someone else’s property. Typically this means someone else’s car, but it could also be a tree, fence, or building. Make sure you have enough coverage to pay for other people’s damages if you’re involved in an accident. Even if you drive an older, less expensive vehicle, you could damage a car that’s worth much more.
In addition to personal injury and property damage, you can purchase collision coverage. This type of policy will pay to fix your vehicle (less your deductible) or pay off the loan in the event your car is totaled. If you have a newer vehicle, or are still making payments, chances are your lender requires collision car insurance.
Comprehensive coverage pays for losses that are not the result of an accident, such as theft, fire, and flood. Usually you need comprehensive is you have an auto loan or lease, and it’s a good idea if you keep a lot of valuables (such as stereo equipment) in your vehicle.
Funeral benefits are not typically required by state law, but it’s a good idea to get this type of coverage. Funeral benefits help to pay funeral costs in the event of a deadly collision. Since it’s so inexpensive, usually less than a dollar for every $1500 worth of coverage, you should consider adding this option to your car insurance policy.
Income Loss Coverage
Income loss is another car insurance option that most states don’t require. Considering the long recuperation period for many accident victims, it’s a good idea to add this to your car insurance policy. Buy enough coverage to match your monthly take-home pay, and your family can rest assured they’ll be taken care of if you get hurt in an accident.
Medical expense coverage may be required in some states, but often the amount is too low. If you think about the skyrocketing cost of healthcare these days, you’ll realize how quickly those bills can add up. Medical expense benefits cover anyone who was injured in the accident, so depending on the number of passengers in each vehicle, the cost could spell financial ruin if you’re not adequately covered.
Take time to learn about any other terms you don’t understand. If you search for car insurance online, you can compare the best rates and coverage.
Photo via G. Rivas Valderrama