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What Are the Different Types of Auto Insurance?

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When most people talk about car insurance, they usually discuss it in terms of liability and full-coverage insurance. In reality, there are several types of auto insurance between those two extremes. If you’re in the market for a new policy, it’s always a good idea to brush up on what types of car insurance are really out there.


Perhaps the most common of all the types of auto insurance is liability coverage. This is the insurance that many states require by law. If you get into an auto accident, and you’re at fault, your insurance company will pay to repair the other party’s vehicle and any medical bills he or she incurs as a result of the accident.

Keep in mind that every state can have a different required minimum, but if you choose the minimum, and the other party’s bills exceed it, you could be personally liable for the difference.


The problem with only getting the state-mandated minimum liability insurance is that it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to make repairs to your own vehicle after an accident you caused. Adding collision coverage can provide the valuable cash you need to repair your vehicle after an accident. Since not having a working vehicle has its own set of financial repercussions, it’s smart to add this coverage to your auto insurance policy if you can afford it.

With this type of insurance coverage, you – or your lienholder – would also receive a check for the vehicle’s worth if it was totaled by an accident.


Unlike collision coverage, comprehensive auto insurance covers your vehicle for all the non-accident things that can happen to it. These usually include vandalism, theft, and weather damage. If you still have a loan for your vehicle, your lender will usually require comprehensive coverage in addition to collision coverage to best protect their investment.

If you live in a rural area where large wild animals trying to cross dark stretches of the road at night are known for damaging vehicles, this is the type of auto insurance coverage that would allow you to pay for repairs.

Personal Injury Protection

It’s important to remember that damage to your vehicle isn’t the only problem that can arise after an auto accident. Something as seemingly minor as rear-ending another driver at a low speed has the potential to cause ongoing issues to your body’s alignment, which could require costly treatment to correct. Since medical expenses have a way of multiplying exponentially, having personal injury protection insurance is the best way to ensure you’re able to afford medical care after an accident.

Unfortunately, not all types of auto insurance are available in all states, so you’ll have to check with your local insurer to determine if personal injury protection is available in your area.

Uninsured Motorist

While the above types of auto insurance are all there to help you when you’re at fault for an accident, uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that protects you when someone else is at fault. If someone without insurance causes an accident and lacks the capacity to pay for your damages and medical expenses, having uninsured motorist protection can help. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, kicks in when the other motorist has insurance, but it’s insufficient to cover your damages.

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