What types of car insurance coverage are there?

The different types of car insurance come with different coverage levels. The first type of coverage that everyone must have is liability coverage whether drivers are living in a tort state or a no-fault state. The other types of auto insurance coverage - full coverage and comprehensive - aren’t required but recommended. Use our comparison tool below to get free quotes for the different types of car insurance policies available in your state.

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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 Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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A car can be damaged in a myriad of ways and repairing these damages can be expensive. An added component is the fact that these damages can be the fault of another person.

If this is the case, the injured party deserves to have his or her bills paid by the person liable for the damages. It is essential to research different car insurance quotes to check on great deals. Get started now by entering in your ZIP code to receive FREE car insurance quote!

Various kinds of car insurance coverage were created to cover all types of scenarios for how the bills for bodily injuries and property damages will be paid, and some of these types of coverages are required by the states. If you are interested in seeing a FREE car insurance quote comparison, simply enter in your ZIP code!

The State’s Involvement in Car Insurance

The first type of coverage that everyone must have is liability coverage whether drivers are living in a tort state or a no-fault state. In a tort state, injured drivers who have medical bills and bills for repairing their car because of another driver’s negligence may sue the other driver for payment of those bills. Liability insurance is for the purpose of paying those bills so that no lawsuit will be required.

It has been a problem in the courts to have several car accident-related lawsuits. When drivers do not have car insurance, the injured parties do not have car insurance companies with whom they can file claims, so their only recourse is to sue these at–fault drivers. To lower the numbers of these lawsuits, tort states mandate that their drivers purchase liability car insurance coverage.

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Coverage for Bodily Injuries

Car insurance companies sell bodily injury liability coverage in two different parts. Drivers must have an amount of bodily injury liability insurance for one person’s medical expenses.

This amount has already been determined by each individual state, and the car insurance companies are required to sell this coverage in this amount. They must also have an amount designated toward the entire accident.

Coverage for Property Damages

Drivers will also need to have a sum of money to be designated toward anyone who experiences property loss due to a car collision. Since property can be damaged in the collision, the states also mandate that people purchase property damage liability coverage.

Medical Payments

If people believe that they need more medical coverage than they have with their health insurance policies, they may purchase the optional medical payments coverage.

The medical payments will take care of any medical bills if the injuries were caused by a car collision. If there is an unfortunate death, the medical payments coverage pays funeral expenses.

It doesn’t matter who caused the accident, people injured will be able to access the medical payments coverage when they are driving their own vehicles. Their policies may even allow them to file a claim if they were injured while riding in another person’s vehicle.

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PIP Insurance

In no-fault states where the government limits the numbers of car accident-related lawsuits, people must purchase the bodily injury and property damage liability coverage that drivers in tort states much purchase.

They must also have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP insurance covers each driver’s medical bills, and it does not depend on who caused the accident.

Each person involved in the collision files a claim with their own car insurance companies for their PIP insurance coverage.

With liability coverage and PIP insurance, the states were looking for a way to make it easier for people to have their medical expenses and property damage bills covered in a more expedient manner.

If everyone follows the law, the tort and no-fault systems work very well. In the cases when people break the law, the problems arise again.

Car Insurance against Lawbreakers

People may decide that they are going to break the state’s laws. Some examples of this are when drivers:

  • Refuse to purchase liability car insurance coverage
  • Drive without a valid driver’s license
  • Drive without registering their vehicles

When people have broken the state’s driving laws in some way and they cause a collision, they will be highly motivated to flee the scene. Without insurance, these people are generally unable to take responsibility for the injuries and damages they have caused. Some states require that drivers purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury/property damage coverage. If it is not mandated by the state, people may be able to purchase this coverage optionally.

Insurance When Hit By an Uninsured Driver

After a car collision has been caused by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver, the policy holders can file a claim with their own car insurance companies for this coverage. The coverage pays the medical bills and the property damage bills that the at-fault driver’s liability coverage would ordinarily have paid.

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Insurance for Underinsured Drivers

Another type of optional car insurance coverage is underinsured motorist bodily injury/property damage coverage. When an at-fault driver is underinsured, the driver has purchased bodily injury and property damage liability coverage but the damages that this driver caused were so extensive that the insurance coverage was insufficient to cover everyone’s bills.

When there is not enough insurance to cover every expense, the at-fault driver is said to be underinsured. After the at-fault driver’s car insurance company has ceased to pay the bills, the injured parties may file a claim for the underinsured motorist coverage.

Insurance for after a Collision

Drivers can collide with other drivers, but they can also collide with a tree or be involved in a rollover type of accident. Collision coverage is optional coverage that can be accessed by the policy holders whether they caused the accident or not. The collision coverage pays to have the policy holders’ vehicles repaired in the instances described above.

The Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

A vehicle can also be damaged by means other than a car accident. When this happens, their collision coverage cannot be used to pay these bills. Optional comprehensive coverage will pay the policy holders’ bills if their vehicles are damaged by:

  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Harsh weather
  • Collision with an animal
  • Being the victim of theft

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How to Find the Best Prices

Although people must purchase car insurance coverage before they begin to drive, they do not have to limit themselves to one company. They have several options, and this offers them a great advantage; they can decide to purchase one policy over another based on the terms of the offers each car insurance company gives them.

To increase the numbers of offers they receive and, therefore, increase the chances they have of finding the best price, they must go to our comparison website and enter their ZIP codes! The several quotes they receive after they do this will lead them to the one car insurance company that can give them the best deal.

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