Is liability car insurance coverage all that I need?

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Most cheap car insurance policies only offer what is known as liability insurance. This means that they only pay for two things: medical bills and property repairs. Furthermore, they only cover these in the event of an automobile accident with another party or parties. Check your car insurance comparisons to see if you have liability car insurance coverage. 

Any damage to your car as a result of a collision or any damage not caused by an auto accident such as vandalism or natural causes is not covered by a cheap liability insurance policy.

Finally, most liability coverage policies are designed to avoid having to pay out if the fault is determined to be yours or if the other driver does not have car insurance. This is the case both with PIP coverage and with uninsured motorist coverage.

If you are concerned about issues like theft and flooding, if you feel that you or anyone using the car might be a bad driver and found at fault, or if you think that a driver without uninsured motorist coverage might damage your car in a hit-and-run accident, you may want to purchase additional coverage.

Of course, additional coverage does not come cheap. If you’re on a strict budget, liability coverage may be the only auto insurance you can afford. Simply enter your ZIP code and other personal information into the forms provided, and you can get an easy, FREE comparison of rates, policy details and coverage options.

The best way to go about this is to develop a budget and set a maximum you’re willing to pay for insurance, then look at the rates and options of various policies to see which one gives you what you need. You may be surprised by what you find!

Different Types of Car Insurance Coverage

The bare bones car insurance coverage option is known as liability coverage, and it is required by law in most states. However, bare bones doesn’t always give you every level of coverage you might want or need. Depending on where you live, theft or vandalism might be an issue, as might flooding, fires or tornadoes. With low personal injury liability coverage, you might want PIP, or personal injury protection coverage. There are many different types of car insurance coverage, and you should know them before making a decision to sign a liability-only insurance policy.

Collision Coverage – This type of coverage is imperative if you want your insurance company to pay for any damage to your car as a result of an auto accident. While “property damage liability” may seem to cover your car, which is technically your property, it does not always do so. Read your liability-only policy details very carefully for this information before signing it. Collision coverage will pay damages to your car caused by:

  • Collisions with other vehicles
  • Collisions with inanimate objects
  • Vehicle rollovers

A deductible is required with most insurance collision coverage policies. Many liability insurance policies also require you to pay a deductible in the event of an accident, but collision insurance almost always does.

Comprehensive Coverage – This type of coverage pays for any damages to your vehicle not caused by other drivers or yourself while driving. Some of the categories of damage covered by a comprehensive policy include:

  •  Theft
  •  Vandalism
  •  Floods
  •  Fire
  •  Weather or natural causes like hail, snow, ice, wind, lightning, etc.
  •  Hitting an animal

The comprehensive policy details vary between insurance providers. For instance, some insurance providers require you to pay for flood insurance separately, particularly if you live in a high flood risk area, while others will only reimburse you for the partial blue book value of your car in the event of auto theft. Read the details of a company’s comprehensive policy before purchase.

PIP Coverage – Personal Injury Protection is an extra type of coverage that pays for necessary medical expenses. It is somewhat confusing because personal injury liability coverage also pays; however, the minimum coverage often comes with strings attached such as, it will only pay if you are not found at fault or if the other driver has insurance. Furthermore, PIP coverage is mandatory in some states.

In a nutshell, PIP coverage is no-strings-attached medical coverage that will pay for:

  •  Medical expenses (hospital bills, doctor bills, medication, etc.)
  •  Lost earnings
  •  Rehabilitation
  •  Service replacement such as child care
  • Funeral expenses

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will cover the difference between your expenses and another driver’s coverage. Some states require you to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but it is not mandatory in most states.

Many people drive around without insurance despite the fact that it is illegal.

However, this does not help you if you get into an auto accident with one of these people. If he or she is found to be guilty of the accident, you are out of luck and may have to pay for the cost of repairs or medical bills yourself.

Rental Reimbursement – A small but useful coverage option, rental reimbursement ensures that you will be able to get a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop or totaled as a result of car damage or theft. The auto insurance company will pay for your rental car while yours is repaired or for enough time for you to find a new one. Some comprehensive coverage options include rental reimbursement, but many do not. Many rental reimbursement coverage options only allow you to rent a car similar to or smaller than the car covered by the policy.

Emergency Road Service Coverage – Another small but useful option, emergency road service coverage will pay for a tow truck to take your car to the shop if it fails while on the road. It will also give you access to a 24-hour service network to help you with any problems your car might have such as not starting, and it will be able to put you in contact with a mechanic if you need your car to start, if you need a locksmith or if another vehicle-related service while on the road. This coverage option is not offered by every insurance company, and prices vary among the companies that do offer it.

If, after reading about all these different types of coverage, you feel that any one of them is absolutely necessary to include in your insurance coverage policy, you should prepare to pay slightly higher or much higher premiums. Liability car insurance coverage is all you need in the eyes of the law, but the eyes of the law are different from your own personal feelings about the matter.

Use our free insurance comparison tool to find the best deals, no matter what you decide about liability-only coverage. We can help you find the least expensive, most lucrative insurance deals in minutes, no matter what sort of policy you’re looking for. Just enter your ZIP code to begin and receive a FREE car insurance comparison!

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