What is Liability coverage?
Liability coverage offers protection for bodily injury or property damage for which the insured driver is deemed responsible. An example of property damage is where an insured driver drives into a neighbor’s fence. The liability coverage pays for the damage to the fence. An example of bodily injury is where an insured driver causes bodily harm to a third party and the insured driver is deemed responsible for the injuries.
49 of 50 states require a minimum level of liability coverage for every car or driver, with strict penalties for non-compliance. For example, South Carolina requires its drivers to carry minimum liability coverage of 25/50/25. This means that the insurance company will pay up to $50,000 for all people injured in an accident, not exceeding $25,000 on any one person and $25,000 for property damage.
What is Collision and Comprehensive coverage? Collision coverage covers the cost of repairing your vehicle in the event of any kind of accident, whether it’s with another car or an object, such as a utility pole or fire hydrant. Comprehensive insurance covers damage or loss of your vehicle in the event of theft, natural disaster or any other damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision. Unlike Liability insurance, collision and comprehensive insurance is not required by any state, but it is highly recommended for most drivers. Also, if you are leasing or borrowed money from a bank to purchase your car, your lessor or lender will likely require you to maintain collision and comprehensive coverage. The exception is if you have an older car, and the cost of repairing or replacing your car is likely more than its value. Under such circumstances, it is advisable to waive both collision and comprehensive coverage. Both collision and comprehensive coverages are subject to a deductible.
What is Uninsured or Underinsured driver coverage? Underinsured coverage, also known as UM/UIM, provides coverage if an at-fault party either does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance. In effect, the insurance company pays the insured medical bills, then would subrogate from the at fault party. This coverage is often overlooked and very important. In some areas, it is estimated that 1 out of every 3 drivers doesn’t carry insurance. Unfortunately, this number goes up significantly during recessions. Currently, 21 states require UM/UIM coverage, and usually UM/UIM limits required match the liability limits. Even in states that do not require UM/UIM coverage, insurance carriers are often required to issue you such coverage unless you explicitly reject it in writing.
What is Rental Reimbursement coverage?
Rental reimbursement pays for a rental car when your vehicle is damaged or stolen.
Towing and roadside assistance coverage pays for fees due to road breakdowns.
What is an SR-22 filing? While many people think an SR-22 is a type of insurance they’re required to purchase if they have too many tickets, moving violations or DUIs, this is not the case. An SR-22 is a simply form filed by your insurance company to your state’s DMV as proof that you’ve purchased liability insurance to protect others from injury, damage or harm in case you cause an accident while driving. An SR-22 filing is often required in order to reinstate someone’s driving privileges following an uninsured car accident or conviction of another serious traffic-related offense, such as a DUI. For drivers who require SR-22 documentation, but do not own vehicles, the state laws may require such drivers to obtain and provide proof of a non-owner SR-22 policy to be eligible for reinstated driving privileges. If an SR-22 should expire or be canceled, the insurance company is required to issue an SR-26 form, which certifies the cancellation of the policy.