Buying car insurance for the first time can be a daunting experience. How do you know if you’re purchasing the right coverage, and if it will adequately cover your needs if you get into an accident? It pays to learn about different car insurance types and how they work in covering losses. A typical car insurance policy breaks down into six different subgroups.
- Liability Coverage - Many people lend their car to friends or family members. If you or one of them gets into an accident, bodily injury liability auto insurance covers any costs associated to injuries or damages caused to other people. Carriers will allow you to buy more coverage than the state-sanctioned minimums.
Medical/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage - Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for the costs associated with any injuries you or passengers in your car suffer in an accident. This includes lost wages, medical payments, and even funeral costs, depending on the terms of the policy.
Collision Coverage - Collision coverage pays for damages related to a car collision or rollover. It also pays to repair your car if you end up running over a pothole. Policyholders receive reimbursement even if they are at fault in an accident. You typically pay a deductible that ranges from $250 to $1,000.
Comprehensive Coverage - People purchase comprehensive coverage to pay for the costs of damages to a car caused by natural disasters, theft, or vandalism. Policyholders can usually choose from a range of deductible options. Some carriers include coverage for a cracked or shattered windshield in their comprehensive policies.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage - While each state has laws related to the minimum amounts of insurance coverage to maintain on a car, people often take a chance by electing not to purchase a policy. They may also opt to only purchase the bare minimum of coverage. That means there may not be enough money available to cover your losses if an incident occurs. Uninsured motorist coverage reimburses you if that happens.
Property Damage Coverage - The property damage portion of car insurance covers any damages done to the property of a policyholder. It also pays for the cost of reimbursing other people for damage you do to someone else’s property. That includes cars, fences, garages, or other structures.
The following types of insurance along with the listed minimum coverage are required by state law to drive legally in South Carolina:
- Bodily Injury/Death Liability of one person: $25,000
- Bodily Injury/Death Liability of two persons: $50,000
- Property Damage: $25,000
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury per person: $25,000
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury per accident: $50,000
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: $25,000
Most policies charge you a specific rate for each bucket of car insurance coverage. Make sure you go over your auto insurance options carefully as you make your selections.