Coverage Types before Car Insurance Quotes

Use this guide to car insurance types to help you get the right coverage. After you have assessed your needs, you can pick out the right coverage types and levels to meet them. Following this, you can go right to the car insurance quotes to see which car insurance providers charge what.

The coverage types for both tort and no fault systems are explained below. Some states give you the option of types of insurance system. Check with your state authority to see which types of coverage you need.

Tort States

This is the most common system in the United States. Fault is assigned to one or the other or all parties involved in a collision, then those parties are required to pay for damages based on that fault. When disputes arrive, which they often do, they are settled in court. Long, winding lawsuits are common. As a result of the complexity of this system, there are many coverage types.

Bodily Injury Liability: Pays for injuries and death of others when the fault is of the insured vehicle.

Property Damage Liability: Pays for property and vehicle damage to others when the fault is of the insured vehicle.

Collision (Comprehensive Collision): Covers up to the coverage limit for vehicle damages resulting from collisions, crashes, etc.

Comprehensive (Other than Collision): Covers up to the coverage limit for vehicle damages resulting from non-collision incidents, such as natural disasters and weather, vandalism, hit-and-runs, and sometimes nonhuman animal damage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Pays for the difference in damage to you when the at-fault vehicle does not have the necessary insurance to compensate you. As many as 50% of drivers in some states are either uninsured or underinsured.

Gap: Pays the difference between book value and price paid or owed for the vehicle, should it be totaled in a certain amount of time after purchase.

Medical Payments: Covers medical costs for people in your vehicle.

No Fault States

These states require each vehicle owner to cover their own injuries or damages, taking fault out of the equation. To be a registered driver in a no fault state, one must hold insurance that guarantees a certain level of coverage for the vehicle's driver and passengers. Lawsuits are not allowed unless a certain money-level or type of damage threshold is reached.

Personal Injury Protection: Covers injuries to driver and passengers of insured vehicle.

Add-ons: Available in some states, these provide extra coverage, often bridging the gap between no fault and tort. Examples include Collision and Comprehensive coverages.