Car insurance coverages that protect your car

Written by Penny Gusner on May 16, 2013 & Posted in Auto Insurance

Are you covered if you crash your car? What about for hail damage? If you have a bare-bones auto insurance policy that has only state-required coverages on it, then your policy won't cover your car - not even in the slightest.

Liability coverages of bodily injury and property damage that most state financial responsibility laws require are there so that you're able to compensate others that you may harm when operating your vehicle.

State laws don't mandate that you purchase physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive that cover your vehicle if it's damaged in an auto accident or other covered event.

Unless you have a lienholder on your vehicle, it's left up to you to decide if these optional car insurance coverages are needed for your vehicle. (A lienholder can require you to carry collision and comprehensive on your vehicle as part of your financial agreement.)

Collision and comprehensive are separate coverages that cover different perils that your vehicle might encounter. When purchasing these coverages, you will need to choose a deductible for each. This is an amount you agree to pay before your coverage kicks in.

Collision insurance coverage will cover your vehicle if it's damaged in a car crash. So, if your vehicle collides with, or is hit by, another vehicle or object, you could make a claim under your collision coverage, regardless of fault.

Collision also covers the upset of your automobile. Thus, if you unintentionally flip or roll your vehicle while driving, you could make a collision claim.

Comprehensive covers your vehicle for damages that aren't caused by it colliding with something. Comprehensive will cover your car for vandalism, fire, theft, glass breakage and damage from animals. It also will protect your car if it's damaged due to a natural weather event, such a hurricane, tornado, hailstorm or windstorm.

If your car is damaged due to a peril covered by either your collision or comprehensive coverage, your auto insurance policy will either pay for the repairs of your vehicle, minus your deductible amount, or pay for the actual cash value of your vehicle (reduced by your deductible amount) if it's totaled.

If you would like to carry only one of these coverages, such as comprehensive because you're putting your car in storage and thus don't want collision, you may have to search around for an auto insurance provider that will let you buy this coverage alone. Many car insurance companies require that if you purchase one that you also carry the other.

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