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As often happens when you begin your search for car insurance, either for the first time or to change insurance companies to get a lower rate, considering the various types of auto insurance coverage available can be somewhat overwhelming. Unless you’re an auto insurance professional, understanding the difference between coverages can make choosing the right one difficult.

Although car insurance requirements vary state-to-state, in almost every state, it is required by law. So, let’s clarify what the basic auto insurance coverages are to make it easier for you next time you shop for car insurance.

Full Coverage

Don’t let the words “full coverage” mislead you. Full coverage doesn’t actually exist. Instead, it’s a term frequently used to refer to the combination of state-required liability or no-fault insurance and collision and comprehensive coverage. However, there are a number of different types of auto insurance coverage options you can choose from beyond “full coverage” to add to your level of protection. Read more

Liability Insurance

Does not cover any expenses related to damage to your property or any injuries you may suffer. It exists to pay for injuries to the other party and damage to the other vehicle from an accident for which you are found to be at fault. It can also help cover legal costs in the event a lawsuit is filed against you, stemming from an accident. Read more

Collision Insurance

Applies to and pays for damage to your vehicle when involved in any kind of collision, whether with another vehicle, guardrail or object – moving or otherwise – or your vehicle rolls over. You’ll be required by the lender to have this coverage if your car is financed or leased. Read more

Comprehensive Insurance

Is true to its name in that it pays for almost any type of loss that may occur, which is not the result of an auto accident. These include – theft, vandalism, hitting a deer or other animal, extreme weather events from tornadoes, hurricanes, and hail – or natural disasters. As with collision insurance, if you have a lienholder, such as a bank or loan company, this coverage is required. Read more

No-Fault Insurance

Is sometimes referred to as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. Still, in many states, it’s known as medical payment insurance. Its purpose is to help pay for covered medical expenses up to policy limits for injuries incurred by anyone within your vehicle as the result of an accident – regardless of who is at fault. This includes you, your passengers, or anyone authorized to drive your vehicle. In may also cover loss of income, essential services, accidental death, and funeral expenses. While this coverage is optional and not required in all states, you may want to consider adding it to your policy for extra protection. Read more

Whether you’re looking for inexpensive insurance coverage to comply with your state’s minimum liability requirements, complete protection for your new or used car, or you need high-risk auto insurance from having a serious accident, a DUI or DWI, and now require an SR-22 filing, it’s all there at your fingertips. It doesn’t get much easier than getting free car insurance quotes online.