Auto Insurance

uto insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company that protects you against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft. In exchange for your paying a premium, the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as outlined in your policy.

Auto insurance provides coverage for:

  • Property – such as damage to or theft of your car
  • Liability – your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage
  • Medical – the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses

Basic personal auto insurance is mandated by most U.S. states, and laws vary. Auto insurance coverages are priced individually (a la carte) to let you customize coverage amounts to suit your exact needs and budget.

Policies are generally issued for six-month or one-year timeframes and are renewable. The insurance company sends a notice when it’s time to renew the policy and pay your premium.

Who is covered by my auto insurance—and under what circumstances?

Your auto policy will cover you and other family members on your policy, whether driving your car or someone else’s car (with their permission). Your policy also provides coverage if someone who is not on your policy is driving your car with your consent.

Your personal auto policy only covers personal driving, whether you’re commuting to work, running errands or taking a trip. It will not provide coverage if you use your car for commercial purposes—for instance, if you deliver pizzas.

Personal auto insurance will also not provide coverage if you use your car to provide transportation to others through a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft. Some auto insurers, however, are now offering supplemental insurance products (at additional cost) that extend coverage for vehicle owners providing ride-sharing services.

Is auto insurance coverage mandatory?

Auto insurance requirements vary from state to state. If you’re financing a car, your lender may also have its own requirements. Nearly every state requires car owners to carry:

  • Bodily injury liability – which covers costs associated with injuries or death that you or another driver causes while driving your car.
  • Property damage liability – which reimburses others for damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building or utility pole.

In addition, many states require that you carry:

Auto Insurance
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