Car Insurance

Understanding the Different Types of Car Insurance Coverage

5 mins read

It’s crucial to comprehend the various types of car insurance coverage to find a policy that suits your requirements. To begin, educate yourself about the six fundamental types of coverage: bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Bodily injury liability covers expenses associated with other people’s injuries or death resulting from an accident you cause. Most states require it.


The more profound benefits of car insurance like extend far beyond financial protection. It’s an investment in your safety, security, peace of mind, and overall well-being on the road. Liability coverage provides financial protection in an accident resulting in injury or property damage. It pays for damages to other parties up to your policy limits, including medical expenses and repairs. Some states require liability insurance for all drivers.

Liability doesn’t cover the costs of repairing your car, however. For that, you need collision and comprehensive coverage.

Most people refer to a policy that includes liability and comprehensive coverage as “full coverage.” It’s not required in any state, but it may be a requirement of lenders if you are financing your vehicle. These policies are usually more expensive than a liability-only policy. They also tend to have higher coverage limits and include other types of car insurance not required by your state, such as roadside assistance and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In some cases, these additional coverages make the extra cost worth it. But it would help if you weighed the pros and cons before choosing whether or not to purchase a full coverage policy.


Car insurance comes in various types, each offering different levels of protection and financial support. Collision car insurance covers damages from accidents with objects such as trees or fences. Generally, collision coverage does not cover damage to other cars or property, as this is covered by liability insurance. Lenders and leasing companies typically require collision and comprehensive coverage for financed or leased vehicles. If you choose not to carry these policies, your lender will likely buy them for you – this is called force-placed insurance.

As a driver, you may find collision and comprehensive coverage worth the cost if you need help paying for repairs to your vehicle out of pocket. However, these coverages become less valuable as your vehicle ages and depreciates. Typically, these policies pay up to your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV), the amount it was worth immediately before the damage or theft. This amount excludes your deductible.


Often called “other than collision” coverage, comprehensive is an excellent addition to your car insurance policy. It covers damage to your vehicle from various sources, including natural disasters (wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes) and artificial mayhem (carjackings, hitting a deer).

You’ll need comprehensive and collision insurance if you finance or lease your car. 

To determine if comprehensive coverage is right for you, calculate what your vehicle is worth and subtract your deductible. It will give you an idea of the maximum payout from a comprehensive claim. As your car ages, however, the ultimate value you would get from a complete claim may be less than what you pay in premiums, making it no longer worth carrying this type of coverage. That’s why it’s essential to evaluate your coverage needs regularly. If you decide to keep comprehensive, consider raising your deductible to save on premium costs.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM or UIM, pays for expenses related to an accident with a driver who doesn’t have car insurance (uninsured) or with a driver who has a policy limit that doesn’t cover the total cost of your damages and injuries (underinsured). In general, this coverage costs the same as liability insurance.

It’s alarming that one out of eight drivers is without auto insurance, and many more have policies with limits that don’t cover the costs of a severe accident. That’s why UM/UIM is essential to any car insurance policy.

In addition, this coverage can help you if a hit-and-run driver injures you or the other person is unidentified. Depending on your state, UM/UIM typically covers bodily injury and property damage.

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