Understaning Car Insurance Coverages | DMV.org
Verified As Of: 01/27/2017 ?
Chances are, your car is one of your most expensive possessions, and you rely on it completely for transportation. When something goes wrong with it, you need to be able to afford to pay for repairs.
Vehicle coverages can help act as financial protection when your car is damaged or broken down.
Remember, this coverage only pays for your vehicle damages. For comprehensive protection, remember to look into the other 2 main categories of car insurance:
- Liability insurance – Pays for injuries and property damage to others in an accident you cause.
- Medical coverages – Helps pay for medical care after you or your passengers sustain injuries in an accident.
Comprehensive and Collision Insurance
When it comes to vehicle insurance coverages, these two are the big ones. Together they help protect your car from damages caused by numerous events.
NOTE : These coverages do not cover damages you cause to other people's cars. See our Liability Insurance page to learn how to protect yourself from costs incurred by other drivers after an accident.
Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
This coverage, sometimes referred to as “other than collision," will help pay for repairs to your car after it has been damaged by an event other than a traffic accident.
Coverage terms will vary by provider, but you will generally be covered for damage from:
- Falling (missile) objects.
- Natural disasters.
Collision Insurance Coverage
This coverage will help pay for repairs to your car after it has been damaged in a traffic accident.
NOTE : Comprehensive and collision coverages are optional coverages; however, they are typically required as part of a car loan or lease agreement.
Visit our Comprehensive and Collision page to learn more about these coverages.
Emergency Road Service Coverage
Sometimes, out of nowhere, things go wrong with your car. Emergency road service coverage, also known as towing and labor, can help you with certain vehicular mishaps such as:
- Tire blowouts.
- Dead batteries.
- Locked-in keys.
While this coverage can help get your car towed to a mechanic after a serious breakdown, emergency roadside coverage typically does not cover the costs of major mechanical issues.
Learn more about this coverage by reading our Emergency Road Service Coverage page.
This coverage is very similar to an extended warranty offered by a car dealer. Mechanical breakdown insurance helps pay for several types of major mechanical issues to your car and can be much more affordable than standard extended warranties.
Not all car insurance companies offer mechanical breakdown insurance. Speak to your insurance agent or representative to find out if this coverage
is available to you.
Gap Insurance Coverage
For drivers with car loans or who are leasing their car, gap coverage can be highly valuable.
When your car is declared a total loss, your car insurance company will reimburse you the value of your vehicle at the time of the total loss using your comprehensive or collision coverage.
There is typically a difference between:
- The current fair market value of your car.
- The amount you still owe on the car.
Gap coverage will cover that difference so you don't end up owing money to your loan or leasing company after your car is totaled.
Loan/Lease Payments Coverage
This is very similar to gap coverage, except that it has one major difference:
It will only cover up to a specified percentage of your vehicle's estimated value.
For more information on gap coverage and loan/lease payments coverage, visit our Gap Insurance page.
Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage
For those who like to modify their cars, this coverage is especially valuable. Custom parts and equipment coverage can help pay for after-market installed parts, including (but not limited to):
- Engine parts.
- Cosmetic features.
Purchasing Vehicle Coverages
When getting car insurance quotes, keep in mind that not all car insurance companies will offer all of these coverage types. Also, because they are directly related to your vehicle, your car can heavily factor into the price of these coverages.
Typical factors that help determine car insurance rates include:
- Your car's:
- Where you park your car.
- Your driving record and claims history.
- Your credit history.
- Some states do not allow insurance companies to factor your credit history into your premium.
- Your chosen deductible:
- This is your out-of-pocket expense towards a claim.
- Choosing a higher deductible can get you a lower premium.
NOTE : Several states and car insurance companies require you to have comprehensive and collision coverages before you are able to purchase other optional types of car insurance coverage.
Don't forget to keep in mind that when it comes to car insurance, all policies are not created equally. Study your policy and speak to your car insurance agent or representative to learn all about your auto insurance coverages.
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Category: Auto Insurance