There’s no doubt that car crashes are scary. And while not all motor vehicle accidents are fatal, many can be really, really expensive. Let’s first talk about car collision cost and how much damage a wreck could do to your wallet. Then we’ll go over car insurance coverage so that you understand what you could be paying out of pocket without it.
State Farm is there. Or Geico. Or whatever car insurance company you choose. If you’re driving a car, that means you have to have an insurance policy -- it’s the law. Why? Because collisions can happen and you need to be prepared financially. Car insurance might seem expensive right now, but it can save you -- seriously. Learn about basic coverages that might be included in your auto insurance policy.
Bodily Injury is a type of liability coverage, and it’s a crucial part of most automobile insurance. If you get into a car collision, Bodily Injury helps pay for the medical expenses of those involved in the wreck as well as lost income due to missing work.
Property Damage is a liability insurance that helps you pay for -- you guessed it -- any property damaged in a car accident. This can include cars, fences, buildings or anything else you may have crashed into (sigh). If there are any legal fees associated with property damage, this insurance coverage can help pay for those, too.
Personal Injury Protection is sort of like Bodily Injury coverage in that it helps pay for medical expenses after a car collision. The difference is that Personal Injury is a no-fault insurance coverage, which means that it helps you out regardless of who caused the accident. Personal Injury Protection can be super-duper useful because often insurance companies take a long time to determine who is at fault for the accident. With Personal Injury you can get covered immediately and not have to worry about going through someone else’s insurer, either.
Collision Coverage is there to protect your car when you don’t (cause you crashed it, oops). While Property Damage covers other vehicles and objects involved in the accident, Collision helps make sure that your own car gets repaired or replaced.
Comprehensive Coverage. While Collision and Comprehensive both help pay for damages to your car, comprehensive works specifically to cover environmental impact, like rockslides, fire and other natural disasters. Comprehensive also helps pay in the event that your car is vandalized or stolen.
Uninsured Motorist helps you pay for an accident if another driver is uninsured or underinsured. Basically, it’s possible that another person could cause the car wreck, but not have the means to pay for it (ugh). Uninsured Motorist helps protect against that. In addition, underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for damages and bodily injury if you get involved with a hit-and-run driver.
When you go to Enterprise-Rent-A-Car or another car rental company, the salesperson might offer you rental insurance. Car rental companies often offer several optional coverages that can range from a few bucks to about $20 a day. The only one you really need is the collision damage waiver, which helps you pay for damages, theft, towing and maintenance fees. The other coverages offered are usually just upsells.
Roadside Assistance is coverage that rescues you if your car breaks down on the interstate. It can help pay for towing, flat tires, repair shop labor, jump-starting a battery, gas and oil delivery and locksmith fees. Roadside Assistance is basically the same as AAA, so if you already have one, you most likely don’t need the other.
Feel more financially aware of car collision cost? Good. Now make sure you’re insured so that you can protect yourself if (heaven forbid) you get into a car wreck.