Purchasing insurance for your vehicle is not only a great idea, but it is also often required by law in many places. However, the basic insurance that you are often required to purchase is really only useful when it comes to helping you out with damages related to vehicle accidents. Thankfully, there are auto insurance coverage types that can increase the number of situations in which you will be covered by your insurance company, such as comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage.
One of the most useful types of insurance coverage that you should consider adding to your policy is comprehensive. Comprehensive insurance coverage will protect you if your vehicle is lost or damaged outside of an auto accident. For example, the comprehensive insurance coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or destroyed in the event of a natural disaster, vandalism, rioting, or if your windshield is damaged by road debris in a windstorm.
In addition, comprehensive coverage is a great choice if you are at all worried about your car being stolen. With comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will either provide you with a check for the current market value of the vehicle that was stolen or simply replace your vehicle with another one of the same model years or newer. You can even take your comprehensive coverage a bit further and actually has the policy cover any items in the vehicle so that you can have valuable electronics or jewelry covered if your car is stolen.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
One of the most important types of additional insurance coverage to consider is uninsured motorist coverage. You have probably heard the term uninsured motorist coverage more than a few times. The part that many people do not understand, or know about, is the underinsured motorist coverage.
The truth is, these are essentially the same coverage and are bundled together on most auto policies. While this is a great coverage to have, it is currently not required in every state of the US.
At its most basic level, this coverage protects you from those who either do not have insurance or do not have enough insurance when they are found to be at fault for an accident with you.
This type of insurance is designed to protect you financially in the event that the person who caused the accident either has no insurance or when the damages are above their limits to pay for your repair and medical bills. In that situation, you could easily end up having to pay for all of your own accident-related bills if you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
How do uninsured and underinsured motorists work?
Uninsured/underinsured (often abbreviated to UM) coverage will be set up in the same format as your liability coverage. The three-number system applies here as well. If you have UM limits of 250/500/250 you have $250,000 of bodily injury coverage for each person in your car, $500,000 of bodily injury coverage for the entire accident, and $250,000 in coverage for your property to be repaired or replaced.
For example, if your car is a total loss and is worth $35,000, a driver with the state minimum property damage limit of $25,000 would leave a $10,000 gap. But that’s not fair! Why should I have to pay for someone else’s irresponsibility? I agree with you. So, if you have this type of coverage, you will be able to rest assured of the fact that you will not have to pay out of your own pocket for any accident-related expenses if the responsible party was driving without sufficient insurance. In that situation, your insurance company will step in and pay for any shortfall that the responsible party’s insurance policy does not cover.
This coverage will prevent you from having to wait months or even years for legal proceedings against the at-fault driver. In the end, you add this coverage to save yourself the hassle when someone causes an accident with you.
What if you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorists’ coverage?
There is good news, however. If you do NOT choose to carry UM coverage on your policy, your own collision coverage would cover damages to your vehicle, no matter who is at fault. That being said, some carriers have a lower deductible (the portion of the repairs that you must pay) for a UM claim versus a collision claim. This will vary by carrier, check with your agent for specifics.
Speak to an insurance agent or visit a good auto insurance website in order to discuss the many recommended types of insurance coverage that are available to you. Uninsured motorists and comprehensive coverage are just two fantastic choices that can ensure that you are covered in just about any type of situation.