The most commonly recognized coverages, in addition to the basic liability package
outlined above, are collision and comprehensive coverages.
1.) Collision coverage pays for physical damage to your car as the result
of your auto colliding with an object, such as a tree or another car. This is relatively
expensive coverage. Remember, this coverage is optional and not required by law.
However, collision insurance may be required by your lending institution or lessor.
If you have an older vehicle worth less than $2,000, there is little reason for
you to purchase collision coverage, because you are likely to pay more money in
premium than you would ever receive as a result of a claim. Auto insurance policies
only require the company to cover your financial expenses, not to replace your vehicle.
In the case of an accident involving an older car, the cost of repairing the car
can quickly exceed the worth of the car. In that case insurers will "total" the
car and pay you what the car was worth rather than fixing it. In severe cases, the
worth of the car may not exceed the premiums paid for the coverage.
2.) Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your auto from almost all other
causes, including fire, severe weather, vandalism, floods and theft. Comprehensive
coverage also will cover broken glass, such as windshield damage. Comprehensive
coverage is less expensive than collision coverage and many consumers choose to
carry it. However, remember it is your choice: you are not required by law to carry
When considering collision and comprehensive coverage, you should consider your
deductible. A deductible is an amount of money you agree to pay as part of a claim
before the insurer is committed to pay the rest of the claim. For example, if you
carried collision coverage with a $200 deductible and you had a $500 loss, you would
have to pay $200 and the insurance company would have to pay the remaining $300.
Basically, deductibles reduce your premiums because you agree to deduct a set amount
from the claim your insurer otherwise would have to pay. Insurance companies offer
deductibles because they reduce the number of small claims, which are costly for
them to handle.
If you purchase a new car with a loan, the financial institution that loaned you
the money may require you to purchase comprehensive and collision coverages. This
is because they see your car as collateral for the loan, and they want to make certain
it is worth something if they need to repossess it.
In the event you have to buy, or decide to buy, collision or comprehensive coverage,
you can save money by agreeing to the highest deductible you can afford to pay in
the event of an accident. However, since comprehensive coverage is usually cheaper
than collision coverage, many people save money by dropping the collision coverage
and keeping the comprehensive coverage to protect against natural perils, theft
and glass breakage.
Insurance that covers the medical bills of drivers and their passengers is not usually
required in states without no-fault laws. However, you may decide to purchase this
Be cautious when purchasing these coverage's. They can duplicate coverage that you
may pay for through other insurance policies. For instance, medical payments coverage
may duplicate health or disability benefits that you buy individually or receive
as a benefit through your job. Before purchasing these coverages, review them and
your other insurance policies carefully.
1.) Medical payments coverage is one such optional coverage. This coverage
pays the medical and funeral expenses lot you or others injured or killed in an
accident while riding in or driving your auto. Claims against this coverage include
all reasonable hospital, surgical, chiropractor, X-ray, dental, professional nursing,
prosthetic and funeral expenses. It will also cover you or members of your family
if you are struck by an auto while walking or while riding in another auto. This
coverage will pay for your medical and funeral expenses even if you cause the accident.
Usually, only expenses incurred within a specified period of time after the accident
2.) Rental reimbursement coverage usually pays $15 to $20 a day to rent a
car for a specific number of days while your vehicle is being repaired. The premium
will vary from insurer to insurer.
3.) Towing and labor coverage pays the cost of towing your car to the repair
shop subject to the limit of your policy. Premium for this coverage can run as low
as $5 to $10 per year. However, if you are a member of an auto club, you probably
already have this service and may not want to duplicate your coverage.