What You Need to Know About Car Insurance

Car insurance protects you, your passengers and other drivers on the road. It helps cover medical expenses, property damage and other costs associated with an accident that’s your fault.


Nearly all states require liability coverage, but you may also want to consider adding other coverages. Options include comprehensive and collision coverage, as well as운전연수 rental reimbursement.

Coverage Options

Each driver is unique, and so are their car insurance needs. Work with an independent agent to find the right mix of coverage types and limits for your situation and budget. Liability coverage is required in most states and helps pay for injuries to other people and damage to their property that you cause. You can also add on medical payments coverage to help pay for your and your passengers’ medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash.

Collision coverage helps repair your vehicle after an accident. For example, if you hit a deer and total your front bumper and windshield (up to your policy’s limit), collision coverage can cover the cost to replace it. Comprehensive coverage protects your car from non-collision incidents, like theft, vandalism, severe weather and hitting Bambi (just kidding about that last one). It’s often sold alongside collision coverage—think of them as peanut butter and chocolate.운전연수

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for your injuries and damages when an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident that you’re a victim of. This is typically offered as a separate coverage from PIP, but may be included in some policies.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage compensates third parties for injuries or property damage they sustain when you’re at fault in an accident. It’s a requirement in most states, and the amount you choose to carry can affect your rates. Liability limits also vary between tort and no-fault states, but it’s generally a good idea to select higher limits than your state requires.

Medical payments coverage (required in some states) pays for your and your passengers’ medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault. It may also cover essential services like child care or household help. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) protects you if you’re in an accident with a hit-and-run driver or someone who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages.

Comprehensive coverage, which is a separate policy option, covers damages to your vehicle that aren’t related to an accident. Examples include fire, weather damage, vandalism, or contact with animals. This type of coverage usually includes a deductible. It’s important to understand how a deductible works before you decide to purchase it. You may be able to change your deductible, which can lower your premiums.

Collision Coverage

The second of the two major coverage options under Car insurance, collision coverage reimburses drivers for damage to their personal vehicles after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This includes crashes with other cars and objects, such as fences or highway medians, and can also include hitting an animal or a tree. It may cover repairs or replacement of your vehicle up to its actual cash value, minus the deductible you choose when you purchase your policy.

Having collision coverage is generally a good idea, particularly if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle since lenders typically require it. It’s worth considering if you have enough money in savings to replace your car if it is totaled, and also to look at the current market value of your vehicle. Both collision and comprehensive coverage have deductibles that you agree to pay before your insurance pays a claim, so it’s important to weigh these factors when choosing the level of coverage that’s right for you. If you choose to go with a lower deductible, it will likely increase your premiums.

Comprehensive Coverage

The comprehensive car insurance option is the one that pays to repair your car after non-collision events, such as hail, floods and tornadoes. It also covers your vehicle in the event of a stolen car or vandalism. This type of coverage is more expensive than collision, but it offers added peace of mind.

NerdWallet’s insurance experts recommend comparing the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible, with the cost of comprehensive coverage to determine whether it’s worth it. This calculation will become even more important as your vehicle ages and you receive new quotes from insurers.

If you lease or finance your car, the lessor or lender will probably require that you have both collision and comprehensive coverage. However, comprehensive insurance is not required by law for drivers who own their cars outright.

Rental Reimbursement

Rental reimbursement is an optional car insurance coverage that pays for a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop after an accident. It’s an extra charge on your policy, but it can save you a lot of money if your car is damaged.

Typically, you won’t have to pay the rental car yourself and can get it through one of your provider’s partner agencies. However, you need to make sure your policy includes it and that you have the proper coverage to get reimbursed if something happens.

Most insurance providers include a daily and per claim limit for rental reimbursement. For example, State Farm’s policy covers up to $16 each day and $400 per occurrence for the rental car while your car is in the shop.

Keep in mind that this only applies if you file your damage claim under collision or comprehensive coverage. It will not apply if you file a claim through the at-fault driver’s insurer or if you have only liability coverage on your own car. That means you should only consider this option if you think that you might need it, as it’s not worth the extra monthly cost if you don’t.