Auto insurance provides protection for bodily injury, personal injury, property damage liability, medical payments, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, towing coverage, and more. Basic auto insurance coverage is mandated by most states and provides you with some financial protection in case of an accident. But, is basic coverage enough for you? What are your options? We will explain how car insurance works and what types of coverage we offer.

What is auto insurance?

Auto insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company that protects you against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft. In exchange for you paying a premium, the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as outlined in your policy. Auto insurance provides coverage for property, liability, and medical costs.

Who is covered by my auto insurance?

Your auto insurance policy will cover you and other family members on our policy. Your policy will also provide coverage for someone who is not on your policy but has your consent to drive your vehicle. Your personal auto policy only covers personal driving, not for commercial purposes or for ride sharing services.

Is auto insurance coverage mandatory?

Auto insurance coverage requirements vary from state to state. Some lenders also have their own requirements. Most states require that you carry liability coverage.

Typical auto insurance coverage explained.

  • Bodily injury liability – which covers costs associated with injuries or death that you or another driver causes while driving your car.
  • Property damage liability – which reimburses others for damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building, or utility pole. 
  • Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), which provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers. It will also cover lost wages and other related expenses.
  • Collision reimburses you for damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or other object—e.g., a tree or guardrail—when you’re at fault. While collision coverage will not reimburse you for mechanical failure or normal wear-and-tear on your car, it will cover damage from potholes or from rolling your car.
  • Comprehensive provides coverage against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, such as fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees and other hazards—even getting hit by an asteroid!
  • Glass Coverage provides coverage from windshield damage, which is common. Some auto policies include no-deductible glass coverage, which also includes side windows, rear windows, and glass sunroofs. Or you can buy supplemental glass coverage.

What is gap insurance?

Collision and comprehensive only cover the market value of your car, not what you paid for it—and new cars depreciate quickly. If your car is totaled or stolen, there may be a “gap” between what you owe on the vehicle and your insurance coverage. To cover this, you may want to look into purchasing gap insurance to pay the difference. Note that for leased vehicles, gap coverage is usually rolled into your lease payments.

We hope this information has helped to define auto insurance in more detail. Contact one of our agents if you have any additional questions about our policies!

As an independent insurance agency, we can meet all of your insurance needs with the companies we represent, providing personal and business solutions under one roof! Head over to our website or give us a call to learn more. (781) 235-0087

By: Insurance Information Institute