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Understanding the Different Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


Everyone knows that they need some sort of car insurance. Not only is it the law, but it also protects you and your family from the potentially exorbitant costs of an accident. Still, with so many types of auto insurance coverage available, it can be difficult to understand exactly what each one provides and which ones you may actually need.

In order to help you make an informed decision about which car insurance policies may be right for your family, it’s important to know about each of the following:

  • Liability Insurance: When we think about the minimum coverage allowed by law, we are talking about liability insurance. If a car accident is determined to be your fault, liability insurance covers certain costs of repairing property damaged in the crash, as well as the medical bills of the other driver and passengers from injuries sustained during the accident. Although you must purchase certain amounts of this by law, you can also purchase amounts above this threshold (and it is usually suggested).
  • Property Damage Liability Insurance: When you are at fault, the property damage liability insurance covers any damage you cause to another person’s property, such as the other car or buildings, etc.
  • Bodily Injury Insurance: In the event that your accident injures another person, bodily injury insurance helps pay for costs associated with their injuries if you are at fault. Bodily injury insurance will settle any expenses involving medical treatments, rehabilitation, or physical therapy needed due to the accident.
  • Collision Insurance: When you are in an accident, your car is damaged, as well as the other person’s. Collision insurance covers the costs associated with the repairs needed on your own car if the accident is determined to be your fault. If your car is totaled, collision insurance pays out the value of your car.
  • Medical Payments Coverage: Sometimes you are injured in an accident, as well. Medical payments coverage (known as PIP insurance in some other states) helps you deal with the costs to treat your own and your passengers’ injuries associated with the accident. While some people with very good health insurance opt out of this coverage, it can be very helpful in a big accident. Plus, it can cover any other person in the car no under your health insurance.
  • Comprehensive Insurance: If you want to feel more secure in the event that anything bad happens to your car, comprehensive insurance may be a good option for you. Liability and collision insurance policies only cover costs directly associated with car accidents. If something else happens to your car, such as weather damage, theft, vandalism or damage done by an animal, only comprehensive insurance will cover it.
  • Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Protection: If you are in an accident with another person that they caused, usually their insurance company should cover your costs. Unfortunately, some people do not have very good (or any) coverage. In these cases, uninsured and underinsured motorist protection ensures that your own insurance coverage will pay for your property damage and injuries.
  • Towing Insurance: This covers the cost of hiring a tow truck to transport your vehicle after an accident.
  • Rental Reimbursement: Most people won’t need this coverage, but if you travel often and rent cars in your destinations, it may be helpful to have. Rental reimbursement is actually a supplementary policy that covers you when you drive a rented vehicle.
  • Auto Death Insurance: This is a type of life insurance policy that can be attached to different types of auto insurance coverage. In the event that an accident results in the owner’s fatality, this gives an additional payout to help with funeral and other costs.
  • While it may not be important to have all of these types of insurance, sufficient auto insurance coverage helps minimize your financial worries and stress after getting into an accident. It is therefore incredibly important to consider all your options thoroughly before making a decision. Depending on your financial situation, your car, and other factors, some insurance may not be necessary, but in Illinois, you must at least carry:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident,
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in an accident, and
  • $20,000 for the damage to property of another person.

In general, some coverage above this minimum is suggested also. Do your research and decide what is right for you.

If you are in an accident, your insurance will cover some of the costs if it is your fault. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be a challenge to get the compensation you deserve from the other driver and his/ her insurance company when the accident was not your fault. In these situations, it is important for you to get help fighting for your rights. Call the Chicago accident attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 to discuss your case for free and find out how we may be able to help. You won’t pay a cent until we get you the settlement you need.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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