Post Update July 24, 2012 – Although most people make their auto insurance payments every month, many have truly no idea of what they are actually purchasing or exactly what they are actually paying to protect. Most think Car insurance pays to fix your car in case of an accident. That is correct as far as it goes, but the truth is that your automobile insurance policy covers you and your household members for many more car insurance options than just your car.
Believe it or not; when you buy auto insurance there are only two car insurance options of the policy form which truly protects “your Car;” That’s the Comprehensive and Collision components of your coverage.
Comprehensive Coverage : Comprehensive Car Insurance Options coverage is one of many car insurance options which pays to repair your vehicle for perils like having your car catch fire, or when you park at the shopping mall and find upon exiting that your car has been stolen. Comprehensive also covers your car if you emerge from the mall to find that some creepy vandal has used the key from his piece of junk car to etch scratches on the side of your vehicle. Your Car insurance carriers also may consider a collision with a deer under Comprehensive will also cover you for windshield damage from a flying stone or bird strike.
Collision Coverage: Collision Damage coverage is another one of a number of car insurance options which pays for the Physical damage to your vehicle. Regardless of whether an accident is your fault or not, your carrier will pay to repair your vehicle – minus the deductible you agreed to when you purchased your policy.
Property Damage Coverage: The Property Damage Car Insurance Options Coverage part of your policy pays for damage you have caused in the event of an At-Fault Accident. The maximum amount of Property Damage the carrier will pay for is determined by the limit you agreed to when you purchased your policy. Property damage can include damage to another car or other property like a home owner’s back yard fence or a utility pole. The state minimum in most states is $5000. Many carriers also offer Property Damage limits that pay as high as $100K.
Liability Coverage: Another car insurance coverage which covers the driver and occupants of the other car is Liability Coverage. Liability Coverage pays the Medical bills for the occupants of the vehicle your car hit or that was determined to be not-at-fault. Again; the maximum amount paid by your insurance company is determined by the limit(s) you agreed to buy. The minimum in many states is $15,000 per person, $30,000 if more than one person is injured.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: What if you are involved an automobile accident and the other driver is at fault? And, to make matters worse, what if the other driver has no auto insurance coverage or has coverage but may not have a sufficient insurance limit to pay for your vehicle or damaged property? Making matters even worse, let’s say you don’t have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on your policy to pay for repairs to your car. Purchasing Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) may make a huge difference in making you whole again. Depending on the state you live in and that state’s laws, UM and UIM can be accessed to pay for the damage to your car and/or Medical bills if the at-ault driver has insufficient insurance coverage or no coverage at all.
Additional Coverage Options: There are many other car insurance options available for purchase within an auto insurance policy as well. For a small additional monthly premium, coverage for Loss of Income, Accidental Death, Rental car and Towing are available. If, after reading this you have any further questions regarding what coverages belong in your auto insurance policy, I invite you to call me personally at please me a call at 1-800-807-0762 ext. 206.
Michael E. Dortch
President & Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
(800) 807-0762 ext. 602