Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that exis...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2020

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Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to Remember...

  • Some form of auto insurance or proof to pay for damage you cause is required in every state
  • Your auto insurance policy protects you in the event of an auto accident
  • Your auto insurance coverage usually has a deductible payment

Auto insurance is somthing you purchase in advance to help cover the costs of damage that you may cause, or that is caused by other people and incidents when driving your vehicle.

Some form of auto insurance or proof to pay for damage you cause is required in every state.

After you determine how much auto insurance coverage you need, compare your current auto insurance with competitive auto insurance quotes from companies that want your business.

Auto insurance can be expensive, but it actually saves money if you are in a major car accident. Understanding the components of auto insurance can be confusing.

Enter your zip code above and start comparing affordable auto insurance quotes now!

How does auto insurance work if I am in a car accident?

Your auto insurance policy protects you in the event of an auto accident. Auto insurance protects the value of your car.

For example, your auto insurance company maintains a record of your vehicle identification number (VIN) and usually keeps photos of your auto to verify its condition.

If you’re involved in an auto accident, any resulting auto body damage is covered by the auto insurance policy.

While liability covers the other person and their vehicle when you are at fault, collision and comprehensive cover your vehicle and require a deductible payment. Depending on your policy, your deductible may vary.

A higher deductible per accident may mean lower auto insurance premium payments, and vice versa.

Some drivers may have an auto accident that doesn’t involve another driver. If the driver backs his auto into a yard fence, his auto and fence may require repairs.

Auto insurance coverage usually compensates the driver for any damage above his deductible level.

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Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is collision coverage?

Collision coverage on your auto is important if you’re involved in an accident involving another motorist and car. If you’re at fault, meaning that your driving mistakes caused the accident, collision insurance pays for the damage to your auto.

When collisions occur involving multiple autos and drivers, your auto insurance policy can pay for the resulting damages for all those involved (if you were at fault). Your liability would cover the other driver and their vehicle while your collision coverage, if you have it, will cover your vehicle.

If you weren’t at fault, your auto insurance policy allows for expeditious repairs to your vehicle. Your insurance company pursues the driver at fault, and his auto insurance policy, to cover the costs of repairs and medical treatment.

Tort and at-fault states differ in this, so find out which auto insurance laws your state follows.

In any auto accident involving another auto and motorist, it’s essential to contact the police to ascertain any property damage and personal injury.

Don’t take the word of another motorist to pay for the damage to your car. Contact the police to ensure that an accurate assessment of the accident is prepared. Identify any witnesses to the accident, and obtain their contact information.

In many instances, auto insurance rates increase after the insurance company pays for a car accident claim.

What is liability auto insurance coverage?

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All forms of liability coverage are meant to protect you from your own actions. If you cause an accident this mandatory coverage will help to pay for the damages.

  • Bodily injury coverage is essential to protect the auto driver from lawsuits resulting from an auto accident. This basic coverage is mandatory, though the amount of bodily injury coverage may vary from state to state.
  • Property damage liability covers you from damage resulting to another driver’s auto or property. Property damage liability extends to another driver allowed to drive your auto and covers property damaged by impact from your auto.

What is PIP?

PIP stands for personal injury protection and is an optional policy in most places.

Personal injury coverage is part of your auto insurance policy.

Any medical expenses, treatments, lost income, and burial costs are covered by personal injury protection.

The driver of the auto and any auto passengers are covered by personal injury insurance regardless of fault.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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What is comprehensive auto insurance?

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If your auto is damaged in a fire, earthquake, flood, hail, vandalism, or theft, comprehensive insurance provides reimbursement of auto damages.

Most policies allow the driver to select the deductible level and resulting premium amounts applied to comprehensive insurance coverage.

Depending on your auto insurance needs and desired coverage levels, comparative insurance quotes can save you money.

If you haven’t compared your existing auto insurance rates with those from other auto insurance companies in a while, do it now! Our online tool makes comparison shopping for low auto insurance rates fast and easy.

Compare only auto insurance quotes today by clicking on the link, and entering your zip code below!

References:

  1. http://www.autocheck.com/vehiclehistory/autocheck/en/vinbasics
  2. https://www.libertymutual.com/auto/car-insurance-coverage/collision-insurance
  3. https://www.progressivecommercial.com/coverages/liability/
  4. http://www.iii.org/article/understanding-your-insurance-deductible
  5. https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/car-insurance/personal-injury-protection-insurance.aspx
  6. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/myth-comprehensive-covers-everything