Every state requires that motorists carry a minimum level of auto insurance coverage, or its equivalent in a financial responsibility waiver, in order to insure that drivers can cover the cost of damages to people or property in the event of an automobile accident.
Auto insurance is a valuable financial shield if you are involved in a traffic accident or if your car is stolen or damaged. Your policy serves as a contract between you and your insurance company; in exchange for your regular monthly or yearly premiums, the insurance company agrees to cover any losses incurred by the policyholder.
Depending on the coverage selected, you can be protected in these situations:
If your car is stolen or totaled in a wreck, the insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of the vehicle. If you car is damaged in an accident, the cost of repairs will be paid by your insurance company.
If you are involved in an accident, injuring someone else or damaging their vehicle or property, the legal damages you are liable for (including the victim’s medical bills) will be covered by your auto insurance provider.
A basic auto insurance policy is comprised of six basic types of coverage. While some of these types of coverage are required by state law, others are optional in many states. These are: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage.
Researching and buying insurance on the Internet offers consumers a new level of convenience, but you need to protect yourself when purchasing insurance online. Do your research, double-check the company and agent, update your browser (newer browsers are equipped with security measures that alert you to insecure sites), get all quotes and policy information in writing, and keep detailed records. Go to your state insurance department for more information on company and agent requirements.