When you are out driving your car on the busy roads of your state, you are a risk to every other driver out there. No matter how well you drive, how careful you are behind the wheel, or how often you obey traffic laws, you are a risk. Because of this, almost every state in the U.S. requires drivers to have some sort of auto insurance coverage. Not only does this help protect you, but it helps protect other drivers. The most often required coverages include:
Bodily damage liability: If you hurt someone by causing an accident, then your insurance will cover the cost of their injuries if you have bodily injury liability. There are two types of coverage you will be required to have, one is for a single person injury and the other is for multiple person injuries.
Property damage liability: If you run over someone’s mailbox, drive into their home or crash into their car, you are causing property damage. Property damage liability coverage will pay for this damage.
Uninsured motorist coverage: What happens if you get into an accident with another driver (who is at fault) and they don’t have any insurance or they have too little? If you have uninsured motorist coverage then your insurance policy will pay for the damages caused by the other driver.
Personal injury protection: If you or one of your passengers is hurt in an accident, personal injury protection (also called PIP) will pay for the medical expenses.
Every state is different. Almost all require bodily injury and property damage liability. Few require personal injury protection as well, and some also require uninsured motorist coverage. While most states require a very low minimum amount of insurance coverage in each of these areas, some have recently reset their minimums to much higher amounts.
Remember, before you get your auto insurance quotes, find out what kind of coverage is required by your state. But also, don’t just get the deductibles and limits required-consider the potential actual cost of damages after an accident and get an amount that will cover those expenses. Because the state required amounts don’t guarantee that they will be enough-they simply guarantee that there will be some sort of coverage.