The right auto insurance policy can help get you back on the road quickly if your car is damaged or destroyed by accident, fire, theft, or other unexpected event. Your policy may also provide protection against medical and legal expenses resulting from injury, loss of life, or property damage caused by an accident.
Your auto insurance coverage is most often made up of the specific options you choose, including:
Bodily Injury Liability
Insures against injury that you may cause to another person (or people). The key is that it involves you being held legally responsible for injuries to other persons because of your driving, your ownership or other use of your vehicle. It provides a legal defense if someone sues you for damages.
Bodily Injury liability limits are typically shown as a per person/per accident limit like this: $100,000/$300,000. This is meant to represent the highest amount per person
and per accident
that your insurance company would pay if you have an accident that injured other people.
Property Damage Liability
This handles damage that you may cause to another person's property. Usually this means damage to someone else’s car, but it could be any property. Again, the coverage only responds when you are legally responsible for such damage and it has to be related to your use or ownership of a vehicle.
A Property Damage liability limit of $100,000 means that if you cause damage to property in an accident, your insurance company would pay up to $100,000 to repair or replace it.
When choosing your Bodily Injury and Property Damage liability limits, you should consider all of your assets, including your home and future earnings. Why? If you’re liable for damages that exceed your coverage limits, those assets could be at risk. Towne Insurance recommends extra liability for peace of mind with umbrella protection.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist
This coverage typically pays for injury you suffer from an accident caused by:
- a person who has no insurance
- a person who can't be located ("hit and run drivers")
- or a person who is inadequately insured
Suppose your Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist limit is $100,000. If you are seriously injured by someone carrying a Bodily Injury limit of $25,000, but your injuries are nearly $100,000, your policy would pay the difference between $25,000 and $100,000.
This covers damage to your own vehicle that happens when your vehicle runs into another object, such as other vehicles, trees, light poles, etc. Standard collision coverage will pay for any repairs up to the fair market value of your car – less your collision deductible. The higher the deductible you’re willing to pay, the less the collision coverage will cost. If you finance or lease your car, your bank may require you to carry collision coverage.
Comprehensive (Other Than Collision coverage)
This also covers damage to your own vehicle in some way other than a collision, such as fire, theft, hitting an animal, vandalism, earthquake, flood or hail. Like collision, comprehensive will pay up to the fair market value of your car - less your comprehensive deductible. And although it’s not legally required by any state, you will probably need it if your car is financed or leased.
This coverage typically handles medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It may also cover you and your household if you, as a pedestrian or a bicyclist, are struck by an automobile or when riding in other cars.
Towing and Labor
This coverage is an option to help pay for your costs to deal with a disabled car. It could reimburse you for the car to be towed to a service station or for any repair that occurs at the location of the car's breakdown. Note that this coverage is for labor rather than the costs of car parts. Available coverage is minimal (often $25-$75).
This coverage reimburses your expense of renting a car as a temporary replacement when your car is unavailable for use because of it being damaged, lost (stolen) or destroyed in a covered loss.
Important: This is merely an introduction to complex policy coverages. Be sure to contact Towne Insurance for detailed insurance information.