There are several forms of auto insurance coverage available, as a car accident lawyer can explain, but the three basic types of coverage are liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability coverage is typically required by law and it covers damage to another person’s property or injuries you cause in an accident. Collision coverage, meanwhile, pays the cost of repairing or replacing your own vehicle if it’s damaged in a collision.
Comprehensive insurance is an optional form of coverage that protects you against incidents other than collisions. This type of coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle and it comes with a deductible you need to pay when you make a claim, just like with collision coverage.
What Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?
Comprehensive insurance offers broad protection against damage that doesn’t result from a collision, including coverage against:
- Falling objects
- Glass damage
- Damage from striking an animal
This does not mean comprehensive coverage will cover everything, however. Towing, rental, and personal property protection are usually excluded from coverage.
Despite not covering absolutely everything outside of collisions, comprehensive coverage is valuable for many auto owners. Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports there are more than 1.5 million vehicle collisions with deer that cause over $1 billion annually in property damage. There are also around 700,000 reported cases of car theft per year. Comprehensive coverage can offer financial protection against these and other types of incidents.
Other Forms of Car Insurance Coverage
In addition to liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage (which are collectively referred to as “full coverage”), there are other forms of optional coverage you can add to your car insurance policy for additional protection. The following forms of coverage are can protect you if you are involved in an accident, especially those involving uninsured or underinsured motorists who are at fault.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UI/UIM)
About one in eight drivers have no insurance and nearly 30% lack sufficient coverage to pay for damages in an accident. This is why it’s important to have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage to protect you. UM/UIM coverage offers liability coverage if you are involved in an accident with an at-fault uninsured or underinsured motorist. In the case of an underinsured motorist, your policy will pay for your damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limit.
Medical Payments Coverage
If you or someone else is injured in an accident involving your vehicle, Medical Payments coverage pays for medical expenses. Even if you have excellent health insurance coverage, this type of optional coverage can help passengers. Medical Payments coverage can also help if you do not have health insurance, your insurance does not pay for accidents, or your plan has low limits or high co-pays and deductibles.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Finally, PIP coverage pays for medical expenses and lost wages if you are involved in an accident. This type of coverage pays out claims regardless of fault and it is often called “no-fault” coverage. PIP can pay up to 80% of your medical and other expenses in a covered accident and it can be especially beneficial if you do not have health insurance or you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.