Collision, Comprehensive, And Liability — What To Know About Auto Insurance Options

When you shop for auto insurance, you'll hear many potentially unfamiliar terms that are often important to understand. Three of the most important may sound similar, but they have very different outcomes. These are collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and liability coverage. 

To help you choose the right insurance policy for your needs, here's what you need to know about these three vital pieces of the puzzle. 

What Is Collision Coverage?

You'd be excused if you think that all auto insurance is coverage for collisions with pedestrians, structures, and other vehicles. However, the coverage you're probably thinking of actually takes the specific form of collision insurance. 

This portion of your insurance pays for damage to your car if you are involved in an accident. It does not, however, generally extend to paying for other vehicles or structures. And perhaps more importantly, it doesn't cover medical expenses for injured persons. 

What Is Comprehensive Coverage?

Collisions on the road aren't the only risk for vehicles. What if your car is sitting in your driveway when a hail or ice storm passes over and breaks the glass, causing major interior damage as well as body damage? Because this wasn't an actual collision, it's not covered by collision insurance.

To protect from all the other hazards facing your vehicle, you need comprehensive insurance coverage. This includes things like storms, flooding, animal damage, vandalism, theft, and falling objects. 

If you have an auto loan, the lender may require that you carry some form of comprehensive insurance as well as collision coverage in order to protect their financial interests if something drastic happens to the vehicle. 

What Is Liability Coverage? 

Finally, there is liability coverage. You may have noted that the above two types of insurance both focus on paying for damage to your own vehicles. But what if you're liable for damage to others' vehicles? Or, worse, bodily injury to other people? 

Liability insurance covers the people and property around you. In addition to paying for damage to other cars and other drivers, it also covers your own passengers as well as other vehicles' passengers and pedestrians. 

Liability coverage is often required by state law regardless of what other insurance you choose or forgo. 

Where Can You Learn More?

Understanding insurance details is often complicated and confusing. Start learning how to make the best decisions for yourself by meeting with a qualified insurance agent in your state today. With their expertise and explanations, you'll be ready to ensure you have the right protection. Contact your insurance agent with any questions you have about auto insurance