Car Insurance 101: What You Need To Know

car insurance policy basicsCar Insurance – Easy Peasy, Right?

Sifting through all of the insurance jargon alone, trying to make sense of it all, often feels like you need a Master’s Degree in the field just to understand it.  We completely understand the frustration and confusion but are here to help. So, here is a breakdown of the information to help you understand the basics of car insurance policies. This will allow you to be more confident when purchasing the ever so important car insurance policy that best suits your needs, and to protect your assets should you have to file a claim. However, we are here as your personal resource, so if something doesn’t make sense, please contact us with questions on any personal insurance.

Liability Car Insurance

There are two categories in which liability car insurance entails.  The first being property damage and the second being bodily injury. Think of this as what you are liable for with regard to the other party.

1. Property Damage

Definition: Covers damages of other person’s vehicle as a result of an accident you caused. 

This is the most basic type of car insurance.  Coverage of liability insurance is required in every state, Texas being no exception.  The minimum limits of liability coverage may vary depending on where you live, but it is required for all car owners.

2. Bodily Injury

Definition: Covers damages for medical expenses and legal charges for another person’s injuries caused by your negligence or ‘at fault’ accidents.

Liability car insurance often combines both a variety of property damage, as well as bodily injury coverage.  Texas state law does require a minimum plan to have $30,000 bodily injury coverage per person as a part of the car insurance plan. 

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance

Definition: Covers your vehicle expenses if someone hits you and they are not properly insured, or run

This can be the case for many people, even though it is illegal to not have any car insurance.  If a person damages your car in an accident and did not have insurance, or lacks the full amount of coverage, this is the type of insurance plan that will cover the costs to repair your vehicle damages.

Personal Injury Protection

Definition: Covers medical expenses for you or someone in your vehicle if injured in an automobile accident.

Similar to the bodily injury coverage for liability insurance, personal injury protection covers your medical expenses verses the other parties’.  For example: if you cause a car accident and both you and the other person got injured, your liability and personal injury protection insurance would cover the medical expenses of all people involved, up to the dollar amount of your policy.

Comprehensive Coverage

Definition: Coverage of damages to your vehicle not caused by collision.

This would involve events like flood, fire, theft and vandalism to your vehicle.  Comprehensive coverage is also known as ‘other than collision’ coverage.  Both are the same and they pay for the financial losses from these types of events beyond your deductible.

Collision Car Insurance

Definition: Covers damages beyond deductible from collisions with other non-vehicle objects.

You can also hit and cause damage to your car by hitting objects other than vehicles on the road.  Life happens, and sometimes you back into a tree or a light pole.  Collision insurance covers these types of damages to your vehicle after the deductible.

Emergency Roadside Assistance

Definition: Covers services when stuck on the side of the road.

Getting help when stranded on the side of the highway is expensive, and emergency roadside assistance insurance covers the cost of those unexpected delays, not to mention the piece of mind that someone WILL be there on the other side of the phone when you are in need. This includes all types of services, such as gas services, lock outs, changing a flat tire and towing services.

Bottom Line

Hopefully this has helped to explain the basics of car insurance, however, again, we want to be your personal insurance resource should you have questions about your policy, need to add or remove coverage, want to review what coverage you have or might need or in the unfortunate need to file a claim. We will be with you all the way. Contact Paula Smith Insurance at (281) 488-8880 for your Harris or Galveston County personal insurance needs!

Leave a Comment