Each year, more cars and drivers hit the highways. With so many vehicles on the road, crashes will happen. Automobile insurance can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major hassle. But why do you need insurance and just how much should you buy?
Auto insurance protects you by paying for damage or injury you cause others while driving your car, damage to your car or injury to you or your passengers in your car from a crash, plus certain other occurrences, such as theft. Auto insurance is required by law in all states and provinces. Without insurance, you risk having to pay the full cost of any harm you cause others or of repairing or replacing your car if it is damaged or stolen.
Coverage requirements vary by state/province but usually include the following:
Liability: It pays for damages due to bodily injury and property damage to others for which you are responsible. Bodily injury damages include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Property damage includes damaged property and loss of use of property. If you are sued, it also pays your defense and court costs. State laws usually mandate minimum amounts, but higher amounts are available and usually recommended.
Personal injury protection: This is required in some states and is optional in others. It pays you or your passengers for medical treatment resulting from a crash, regardless of who may have been at fault, and is often called no-fault coverage. It may also pay for lost earnings, replacement of services and funeral expenses. State law usually sets minimum amounts.
Medical payments: This coverage is available in non-no-fault states; it pays regardless of who may have been at fault. It pays for an insured person’s reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses for bodily injury from a crash.
Collision: This pays for damage to your car caused by collision.
Comprehensive: This applies if your car is stolen or damaged by causes other than collision, including fire, wind, hail, flood or vandalism.
Uninsured motorist: This pays damages when an insured person is injured in a crash caused by another person who does not have liability insurance or by a person who cannot be identified (usually a hit-and-run driver).
Underinsured motorist: This pays damages when an insured person is injured in a crash caused by another person who does not have enough liability insurance to cover the full amount of the damages.
Other coverage, such as emergency road service and car rental is also available.
What you pay for auto insurance will vary by company and will depend on several factors, including:
* What coverage you select
* The make and model of the car you drive
* Your driving record
* Your age, sex and marital status and
* Where you live
Many people think of auto insurance as a necessary evil, but it can save your financial well-being. Evaluate your needs, do your research and with the help of your insurance agent make the decision that best suits you.
State Farm® has been in the business of providing excellent auto insurance coverage at an affordable price since 1922. Responding to our customers' needs keeps us the leader in auto insurance.
Car insurance coverage is designed to help financially cover potential auto-related damages, loss or injuries. It helps protect you, your passengers, your fellow drivers, pedestrians, other people's property and your vehicle. It can also help protect you in the event of an automobile-related lawsuit.
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