Automobile as Part of Property Insurance

When shopping to insure your automobile, consider road testing at least four types of policy features. This page will familiarize you with the standards of each feature.

Including Personal and Property Liability

Liability

Most insured motorists consider liability insurance a necessity. In many states there is a minimum legal requirement. Liability insurance protects against injury claims and property damage suits brought by other drivers, pedestrians, or property owners who claim you were at fault in an accident. Your liability policy will pay legal costs and claims, if necessary, up to your dollar limit.

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You can choose a policy with either an overall limit for all liabilities or one with three separate limits for — individuals injured in an accident, all injuries in the same accident, and property damage. A typical minimum for the separate limits are, in order, $25,000 per person injured, $50,000 for all injured persons, and $10,000 for property damage per accident.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

A policy with this provision will pay if either an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver injures you or your passenger. You cannot buy more coverage against an uninsured driver than you carry against your own liability. If you carry $25,000 coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, you can buy that much coverage against an uninsured driver for an additional charge. For another nominal amount, you can carry protection against inadequate insurance coverage of another driver who injures you or damages your property in an automobile accident. Your policy will pick up where his or hers leaves off.

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Collision insurance reimburses you for repair costs resulting from a collision. Comprehensive coverage pays you back for repairing damage due to fire, storm, vandalism, or theft. Collision insurance is usually the most expensive part of your coverage. If you borrow money from a conventional source to purchase an automobile, the lender will probably require both collision and comprehensive insurance.

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To save money, you may choose to buy a policy with a $500 to $1,000 deductible instead of the usual $100 to $250. Raising your out-of-pocket expenses to $1,000 can cut the cost of your premium substantially.

Personal Injury Protection

Residents of states with no-fault insurance must buy personal injury protection. No matter where you are in the United States, your personal injury protection policy will pay your medical expenses in the event of an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault. By purchasing a personal injury protection policy, you agree not to sue for suffering or injury.

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