According to a study conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over a period of two and a half years, there was an estimated 2.2 million crashes nationwide. These crashes affected about 4 million vehicles, 3.9 million drivers, and approximately 2 million passengers*.

And get this – 94% of the time – the crash was the driver’s fault!

Don’t think you need car insurance?  Think again.

Let’s face it, if you are going to drive a then, it’s crucial to understand and take advantage of auto insurance policies to protect not only yourself, but also everyone else on the road.

First, if you are going to drive, then you need insurance – it is required by law.

All states require at least basic liability coverage in order to legally drive. The amounts of required coverage vary from state to state, but the goal is that every driver carries insurance to cover medical bills and property damage in case of an accident.

Do you make payments on your car or do you lease? If you do either then the financial institution (the real owners of the car) will require a minimum level of insurance in order to protect their investment.

1. Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is typically divided into two categories, bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury coverage pays for the medical bills of anyone injured by a covered driver, with maximum amounts defined per person and per accident.

Property damage coverage pays for replacement or repair of vehicles or other property damaged in an accident. Note that these basic liability policies only pay for damage and harm to others; if someone with basic liability coverage only causes an accident, they might find themselves paying their own repair and medical bills. In addition, many states require underinsured motorist coverage, which is designed to protect you if you’re in an accident caused by a motorist without liability coverage of their own.

2. Collision Insurance

In addition to basic liability insurance, many drivers opt for collision insurance. Collision insurance covers your vehicle, no matter who is at fault in an accident. This coverage can come in handy, because if an accident happens under uncertain circumstances with no witnesses, there might not be any way to determine who caused the accident. If you are determined to be at fault, collision insurance still will cover your own vehicle.

3. Medical Coverage

Another policy option that many drivers opt for is medical coverage. Adding medical coverage ensures that doctor and hospital bills will be paid if you’re in an accident. As with collision coverage, this policy pays out regardless of fault, so some level of coverage can be a valuable protection for yourself and your passengers, no matter the circumstances of the accident.

4. Comprehensive Insurance

A final option for auto insurance is comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to your vehicle caused by anything other than a traffic accident, such as vandalism and accidental damage from natural causes such as hail. Comprehensive insurance can get expensive and in many cases is probably not a good option if you have an older car.

Just remember, if you are getting behind the wheel of a car then be responsible.  Make sure you have insurance coverage at all times.  Happy Trails!

*https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812506