Common Types of Car Insurance Explained

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Shopping for New York City car insurance can be a confusing process, especially when it comes to deciding what kinds of insurance to carry and what kinds to forego. While this isn’t a complete list, here’s a quick rundown of the most common insurance types, describing what they cover in plain English.

Insurance That Covers Your Damage:

Property Damage Liability (PDL): This insurance covers any property you damage in a wreck, but it does not cover you or any of your damages. Should you accidentally hit a car, fence, or light pole, property damage liability will cover the property damage costs incurred by the collision. Without it, you might have to pay the cost of repairing another’s car.

Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): This is similar to property damage liability, but relates only to medical costs. Like property damage, this does not cover you at all, only those you damage with your car. For example, say you hit someone at a light, damaging their bumper and causing the driver to sustain a neck injury. The property damage insurance would cover repair costs to the bumper, while bodily injury liability would cover any doctor or chiropractic bills involved in recuperation. In more severe cases, the medical costs involved can be astronomical.

Insurance That Covers Damage to You:

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI): In a perfect world, everyone would hold liability insurance, and would responsibly cover any damage they cause. Of course, this isn’t the case. If someone hits you without insurance, you can sue them for the damages, but if they don’t have insurance and just plain don’t have the money to cover your costs, you’re sunk. Uninsured motorist bodily injury covers you in case you sustain damages from an uninsured motorist.

Comprehensive Coverage: This insurance is also known as “Other Than Collision” (OTC). It covers your vehicle from events outside of colliding with other cars: fire, theft, hail, vandalism, or any other natural cause such as hitting a deer or airborne debris.

Collision Coverage: This is the other half of vehicle protection. This insurance covers damages to your vehicle from any car collisions.

Full Coverage: This is a common term applied to both comprehensive and collision coverage. It covers any kind of damage to your vehicle.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This covers your medical costs in the event of an accident. Beyond that, coverage varies by state. Some extend coverage to passengers in the car, and others to any pedestrians hit during the accident. This insurance covers medical costs regardless of fault.

With this information, you can make better decisions about what insurance you need, and what insurance you can go without.

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