There’s no way around it: we are a very car-dependent society. We spend much of our weeks within the confines of our automobiles, heading to work, to family, and executing various errands. In a way, cars are something of our second homes.
We spend so much time in our vehicles, in fact, that we put ourselves at great risk. Automobile accidents, whether we like them or not, are quite frequent and common. So common that each one of us is likely to be in at least one auto accident during our lifetimes, if not more.
For this reason, states across the country have automobile insurance laws in place. You need to have one of the many types of car insurance in place to be legally allowed to get on the road. What are the types of auto insurance and which do you need to ensure your own safety and security for the future?
Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
General collision coverage
What should happen if you make a mistake while on the road? While we all try to be responsible drivers, we all have moments of negligence behind the wheel. Perhaps you were glancing at your phone, fidgeting with the radio, or speeding to get to a destination.
Inadvertently, you’ve caused an accident, and with it, quite a bit of damage. This is not something you’re going to want to pay out of pocket for, nor might it be something that you can really afford. This is where the auto insurance companies can step in to help resolve the issue.
A general collision auto insurance plan should cover the range of costs that might come with your accident. These general collision coverage auto insurance plans can actually boil down to two major categories: property damage insurance and injury insurance.
Property damage insurance
When an accident occurs, a lot of damage can occur. After all, a speeding metal object colliding with another can create a whole range of disastrous results should things not go as they should.
The costs of repairing this kind of damage fall under the umbrella of property damage insurance. Generally speaking, the most common repairs that will result from an accident will be damage done to the vehicles involved in the wreck. Property damage insurance will cover the costs of repairs to both your own vehicle and the other vehicle involved in the accident.
In order for this kind of insurance to take place, detailed depictions of the damage done must be provided to the insurance company. Photos, videos, and potentially multiple quotes from auto mechanics will need to be provided. The auto insurance company will then step in and pay for these costs.
Of course, there may be some instances where damage occurs to property outside of the vehicles. Sometimes, there may not even be another vehicle involved in the accident. Damage done to street signs and other such road-adjacent items falls under this type of insurance.
Again, the process of providing enough evidence to an insurance company can be a lengthy one.
It’s best to work with an auto accident attorney if you need help ensuring a proper payout after an accident.
Personal injury insurance
The injuries that can be sustained by an auto accident are far-ranging and quite serious. Even a simple case of whiplash can lead to medical bills that are quite staggering, as medical care in the United States continues to be above the worldwide standard.
A person who is injured in an accident due to the negligence of another driver has a right to compensation under the law. Personal injury insurance is what steps in to cover the costs associated with this medical care.
Any injury sustained in an accident will need to be compensated for. This compensation must cover the full extent of the care and recovery from the accident. This can sometimes include many, many months of medical bills.
Just like with property damage insurance, a large amount of evidence will need to be provided to an insurance company to secure a proper payout. Detailed evidence of the injuries sustained will need to be provided, as well as conclusive evidence that links these injuries to the accident itself.
Medical billing and testimony from doctors as to the necessity of the care being provided will also be important to an insurance company. If you’re buying car insurance, this is a major area to pay attention to.
Uninsured driver insurance
In most instances, if another driver causes an accident that you are involved in, their insurance plan should cover the damages.
However, in some instances, you may be driving and run into a situation where you get into an accident with someone who is illegally driving without insurance. Yes, this person is breaking the law and that is a serious problem.
However, that problem can become your own quite easily. If a person does not have auto insurance, that means there will be no guarantee that they can pay for the damages that they have caused in an accident. As we all know, accidents can be quite expensive, and the odds of the uninsured driver in question having the funds to pay for all the expenses, even if they were forced to, is low.
Without the pretense of an insurance company in the mix, it can be very hard to get the compensation that you need to get your life back on track. It means you might be facing those steep medical bills and car repair costs all on your own. It will also mean there is no extra compensation to account for the pain and suffering you’ve been through, lost wages, and the overall interruption of your life.
For these many reasons, it’s important to consider getting uninsured driver’s insurance when you are getting auto insurance for your vehicle. What does this type of insurance do?
It ensures that should you find yourself in a situation where an uninsured driver hits you, your own insurance company will step in to pay for the costs associated with the accident.
This can be, as you might imagine, a lifesaver. Handling these costs on your own can be prohibitive and frightening, knowing you have insurance in place to cover this worst-case scenario can provide for you the peace of mind you need to get on the road with a sense of security in place.
Some auto insurance companies offer uninsured driver’s insurance as part of their overall packages, others you may need to request it as an add-on to your general coverage. Make sure to talk to your insurance representative and see what the situation is with your car insurance options.
Other forms of auto insurance
While the above are some of the most well-known and commonly implemented insurance policies, there are many other types of auto insurance one could look into as well. These additional or alternative forms of insurance are typically used as add-ons for extra safety and security.
They also might fit only in specific instances and only applicable to people or companies that meet certain standards.
For example, many parents take the extra step of taking out teen car insurance for their automobiles. If you know you have a vehicle that has an underage driver behind the wheel, many insurance companies will require you to pay more to properly secure the vehicle.
This is because young drivers are more inexperienced and prone to making mistakes when driving. The higher risk of accident means a higher financial risk to the insurance company, so they take the extra step of requiring a larger payment.
There is also mechanical breakdown insurance, which can cover your car if there is damage due to a non-accident incident with your vehicle. While this type of insurance is less common, it can help you in the event of a mechanical issue.
Understanding the types of car insurance
No matter where you live in the United States, there is likely some kind of auto insurance law and requirement in place. If you’re working on getting insured so that you can legally operate your vehicle, it can be helpful to learn about the various types of car insurance out there.
The above information can help you understand the basics of what these insurance policies are and how they work. That can help you to ensure you get the best car insurance for your particular situation.
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