In recent years, the number of drivers has increased, and there have been hiccups in the car supply chain. These are factors that can influence the cost and need for certain car insurance. For the most part, the legal car insurance requirements remain roughly the same. That’s not to say that the only car insurance you’ll need is the bare minimum. What kind of car insurance you need to get specifically depends on yourself and your car. We’ll look at both the major and minor coverages in an auto insurance policy and look at how much they are needed in the present day.
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What Determines How Much Car Insurance You Need?
Let’s look into what your personal and vehicle factors entail when it comes to car insurance. Keep in mind that we’re not talking about the cost of car insurance since it is different for everyone –only the types of auto coverage certain drivers should get. Some examples would be newer cars needing more insurance than older ones and rented or leased cars needing more coverage as well. How much you pay for the total car insurance will depend on yourself with factors like age, driving record, and residence. Now, let’s look at the different types of necessary car insurance.
Car Insurance That is Usually Necessary
Necessary isn’t the same as legally required, as we have been stressing. You may need any of the following car insurance coverages in order to fully protect your finances if you were in a car accident –especially one that you caused:
- Liability coverage – When car insurance is mentioned, it is usually liability coverage that is foremost being referred to. This coverage is required in the majority of the United States save for New Hampshire and Virginia in special cases. But you will more than likely have to carry liability insurance as long as you drive something with a license plate and use the road. So, this coverage is necessary in every case since you have to cover damage and injuries you cause to others.
- Collision coverage – This is one of two different coverages making up full car insurance. Collision coverage is meant for damage that your own car sustains in an accident that you caused, while your liability coverage takes care of everything you caused. While collision coverage isn’t legally required, it may be for leased or rental cars to ensure they get the fullest protection.
- Comprehensive coverage – The second part of full car insurance, this coverage insures you against damages that happen to your car when you aren’t present. This can be when it is parked or in storage. Weather and crime-related damage can occur, so you would want to be covered by it, especially if you live in an area subject to such. Like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage is required for leased and rental cars. Still, it is wise to get full car insurance on a new car rather than an old or used one.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) – A valid question at this point would be, “what about my own injuries in an accident I caused?” That is where personal injury protection coverage comes in. Whether or not you are required to carry PIP depends on if you live in the 12 states it is required in. If not, then think about if you possibly want to be stuck with medical bills in the event of a bad at-fault accident.
- Underinsured motorist coverage – There is always the possibility of you encountering someone along the road breaking the law by driving with no car insurance. This coverage is required in 20 states for just the occasion as it covers damages and injuries that the at-fault driver can’t.
- Medical payment coverage – Medpay, as it is sometimes called, is different from PIP because PIP insures all direct and indirect medical treatments on account of a car accident. Medpay only insured the direct treatments and not any follow-ups or continued treatments. This is required in two states, but carrying both Medpay and PIP is hardly ever worth it.
Other Types of Car Insurance That Are Optional
At the same time, there is car insurance like roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and non-owner car insurance that may become necessary depending on your case. Rental reimbursement may be needed for your rental car in case it is totaled and needs a full replacement. Umbrella and gap insurance help extend coverage to assets of high value, which can be used to cover anything of value in the car at the time of the accident. SR-22 coverage and certification become necessary when you are charged with a DUI. But these coverages are more circumstantial. While you should absolutely consider the car insurance from the previous section for your policy in 2022, it never hurts to look into the specifics like these ones.