Most people believe they’re fairly knowledgeable when shopping for and buying auto insurance to protect themselves as well as their vehicle. But, if you’ve never done either one before, you can often find yourself lost in a myriad of different types of auto insurance coverages that confuse you more than they educate you.

That’s why it’s important to have a good idea of what you’re dealing with when you decide to start searching for the best auto insurance deal out there. Without being exactly sure of what you’re doing, you could easily end up with more coverage than you actually need – or, worse – not be adequately covered in case of an accident. And, as a result, both could cost you money that would be better off in your pocket.

After all, protecting yourself, your vehicle, as well as those around you, is what it’s all about when deciding on the right coverage. So, here are the basics to consider before you shop for auto insurance:

  • Full coverage. Many motorists wrongly believe they carry “full coverage”. But, full coverage insurance doesn’t actually exist – it’s a term often used to refer to the combination of the following types of coverages:
    • Liability coverage – the most important of all the coverages, because it’s required in most states to operate a motor vehicle. If you cause an accident, hurt another motorist or damage someone’s property, it can pay for covered damages as well as assist in defending you should a lawsuit be filed by one of the injured parties.
    • Collision coverage – helps pay for damage to your vehicle in the event your car hits or is hit by another vehicle, your car hits or is hit by an object, or your vehicle rolls over in an accident. This coverage is generally required if your car is financed or leased.
    • Comprehensive coverage – helps pay for damage to your vehicle that isn’t caused by a collision. Examples include theft, vandalism, hitting a deer or other animal, storms and certain natural disasters.
    • Medical payments coverage – helps pay for covered medical expenses for anyone injured while in your vehicle, regardless of who’s at fault.
    • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – can help pay for damages and medical costs resulting from an accident caused by someone who has no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage.
    • Personal injury protection (PIP) – also referred to as no-fault auto insurance, PIP is available in certain states and pays for medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages, regardless of who’s at fault in an accident.

Of course, not all coverages are required in every state. However, many states will mandate liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance as the minimum requirements. The other coverages are merely options for added protection, which is never a bad idea if your finances are such that you can afford the extra cost.

Remember, the more you know about what you need when shopping for auto insurance quotes, the better off you’ll be. That’s because knowledge of the different types of auto insurance can go a long way in helping you make the right choice, which can save you money and also assure you’ll get the right policy for your particular situation.

Never leave anything to doubt by always making sure you’re getting the best rate on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?

Were you familiar with all 6 types of auto insurance coverages?