Whether you own a car or not, auto insurance coverage is mandated by law in all states in order to drive one. Before making a decision about obtaining coverage, it is invaluable to understand what car insurance does and how it can greatly benefit you.
Car insurance is an example of a common type of insurance referred to as property/casualty. It covers you for liability should you ever cause damage to property, (like another car), and for the possibility of also injuring another in a car accident, (assuming you are at fault). Other forms of coverage can also protect you if your own car is damaged too.
Basically a car insurance policy is for all who are behind the wheel of a car, even if one does so only occasionally. It is important to keep in mind that the policy always moves with the driver, wherever he or she may go, be it in one car or in others. For example, if you are not a car owner but will occasionally drive a friend's car, then you are required to purchase coverage.
Should an accident happen and damage and/or injury are a result, you are wise to file a claim for all covered aspects of the event. For instance, if you crash into someone’s car, you will be obligated to call it in to your insurance company as soon as possible to get started a claim, the earlier the better. Should you be at fault for the accident your insurance company will help by paying for the damage that was brought about. On the other hand, if someone else should be at fault, then this party’s insurance company will usually pay for any of your damages. Even when you are certain to not be at fault, it is still incumbent upon you to contact your insurer. Having higher and more costly levels of coverage means damage to your own car is also handled, even if you are deemed at fault.
One offering within this category of coverage is liability, which is the minimum level for auto coverage that is generally required by each state in which you reside. This kind of coverage is what pays for damage and injuries for which you are at fault. Collision coverage compensates for damage to your own vehicle that was caused in an accident that will not be covered by another individual's insurance. (Usually due to you being declared at fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for all the damage to your auto that is not caused by collisions, events such as weather, fire, theft and even vandalism.
A big and less obvious benefit of having car insurance is the peace of mind in knowing that you have coverage in case you are at fault in an accident that results in damage or injuries to another. Another benefit is the overall protection for your car if you also enjoy collision and comprehensive coverage. Keep in mind that in these instances, you would first have to pay an agreed upon deductible before the coverage kicks in. The good news is that the higher deductible the less you pay in premiums.