Auto Insurance

The Basics of Automobile Insurance

An automobile insurance policy is actually a package of different coverages. If you’re interested in protecting yourself from a lawsuit or from wicked repair bills, then it makes sense to buy car insurance in South Carolina.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is the foundation of any automobile insurance policy, and is required in most states. If you are at fault in an accident, your liability insurance will pay for the bodily injury and property damage expenses caused to third parties in the accident, including legal bills. Bodily injury expenses include medical bills and lost wages while property damage expenses include payment for the repair or replacement of things you wrecked. The third party may also decide to sue you in order to collect “pain and suffering” damages.

Remember, if you cause a serious accident, minimum insurance may not cover you adequately. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy more than what your state requires.

Collision and Comprehensive Coverages

Collision
If you cause an accident, collision coverage will pay to repair your vehicle. You usually can’t collect more than the actual cash value of your car, which is not the same as the car’s replacement cost. Collision coverage is normally the most expensive component of auto insurance. By choosing a higher deductible, say $250 or even $500, you can keep your premium costs down. However, keep in mind that you must pay the amount of your deductible before the insurance company kicks in any money after an accident. Insurance companies often will “total” your car if the repairs the company must pay exceed what the car is worth.

Comprehensive
Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages to your car that weren’t caused by an auto accident: Damages from theft, fire, vandalism, natural disasters, all qualify. Comprehensive coverage also comes with a deductible and your insurer will only pay as much as the car was worth when it got wrecked. Because insurance companies normally will not pay you more than your car’s book value, it’s helpful if you have a rough idea of this amount. Most insurance adjusters use the Kelley Blue Book. The National Automobile Dealers Association also publishes the Official Used Car Guide, which is updated each month. If your car is worth less than what you’re paying for the coverage, you’re better off not having it.

So, if want to stay protected, buying collision and comprehensive insurance from a reliable company would be a wise move. You can even get free online auto insurance quotes in South Carolina.

Medical Payments, PIP, And No-Fault Coverages

MedPay will pay for your and your passengers’ medical expenses after an accident. These expenses can arise from accidents while you’re driving your car, someone else’s car (with their permission), and injuries you or your family members might incur when you’re pedestrians. The coverage will pay regardless of who is at fault, but if someone else is liable, your insurer may seek to recoup the expenses from them. Personal injury protection (PIP) and broader “no-fault” coverages are expanded forms of medical payments protection that may be required in your state. Some states have optional PIP or no fault. Expanded features include lost wages and payments for childcare.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverages

Uninsured motorists (UM) coverage pays for your injuries if you’re struck by a hit-and-run driver or someone who doesn’t have automobile insurance. It is required in many states.

Underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage will pay out if the driver who hit you causes more damage than his or her liability coverage can cover. In some states, UM or UIM coverage will also pay for property damages. To look for the most suitable policy, you can seek online car insurance quotes.

Add-On Features

Several supplemental auto coverages are available, either as separate premium items or included in augmented policies.

  • Rental reimbursement, a common add-on, covers vehicle rentals required because your car is damaged or stolen.
  • Coverage for towing and labor charges in case of a road breakdown is also common.
  • Auto replacement coverage guarantees car will be completely repaired or replaced, even if these costs exceed its depreciated value.