Vehicle insurance protects the owners of cars, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles from losses that result from accidents and other incidents. Most states have a fault-based car insurance system that determines which driver in a motor vehicle accident was at fault. The insurance for the at-fault driver usually covers the losses. Some states have a no-fault vehicle insurance system in which fault is not considered. Each driver's insurance company pays for the losses of its policy holders. In either system, your vehicle insurance policy includes several different elements.
Personal Injury Protection for Medical Expenses
Personal injury protection covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other types of financial losses you suffer when injured in an auto accident. This type of insurance usually extends to your passengers, your relatives who live in your household, and anyone you authorize to use your vehicle. Personal injury protection reimburses covered individuals no matter who was at fault. Vehicle insurance policies will set a maximum amount of personal injury protection. When buying the policy, you choose how much personal injury coverage you want.
Property Damage Liability for Property Losses
Property damage liability pays for the damage that you cause to someone else's property. It also covers losses caused by anyone you authorize to drive the car. Property damage liability covers damage to another driver's vehicle, as well as to fences, buildings, and other public and personal property. Like personal injury protection, property damage liability is limited to the maximum amount of coverage that your policy provides.
Collision for Damage to the Driver's Car
Collision insurance pays for damage to your car that occurs because of a collision with another car or object. It pays the cost of the car repair, even if you are at fault. Collision coverage usually has a deductible. You must pay a certain set amount of the repair cost before coverage take over. The higher the deductible you choose up front, the lower the cost of the policy.
Comprehensive for Other Types of Losses
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle that occurs as result of some event other than a collision. Damage caused by weather, vandalism, and falling objects are common examples of incidents covered by comprehensive insurance.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance for Extra Protection
Uninsured motorist insurance reimburses you for medical expenses and other injury-related losses if an uninsured driver hits your car. It also covers injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver. Similarly, underinsured motorist insurance provides additional reimbursement for medical expenses and other losses when your losses exceed the amount of coverage carried by an at-fault driver. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage also extends to members of your family and to authorized drivers.
An Insurance Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding vehicle insurance and claims is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a personal injury or insurance lawyer.