January 7, 2011

Knowing Add Ons To Your Auto Insurance Rates

Purchasing vehicle insurance coverage is a process offering a long list of options and an astute consumer would do well to become familiar with each of them before buying any policy. Basic liability coverage, required by most states as a bare minimum in order to legally operate a motor vehicle on any public road, is the basis of any auto insurance protection. Several add ons, however, are available to make this basic protection much more inclusive. The adding of these options, while sure to increase your auto insurance rates, will also provide several additional levels of protection to your coverage and may be worth your consideration.

Liability protection, legally required by all but a couple of states, is a policyholder’s protection in the event that he or she causes an accident and another party is subsequently injured or killed. It will also pay for third-party property damage within the policy limits. Liability coverage, however, does nothing to replace the loss suffered by the policyholder himself. To be eligible for benefits that pay toward any personal losses, certain add ons must be included in the policy. Some of these will be discussed here.


Personal injury protection, or PIP, is an add on that pays benefits toward medical expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of who is found to be at fault for the collision. Many policies will only pay benefits on this part of the coverage after the insured’s personal major medical coverage has been exhausted. Those who have no personal medical insurance may want to seriously consider adding PIP to their auto policy.


Collision coverage is an option that pays benefits if a car is involved in a collision and suffers any physical damage. It is meant to pay the costs of fixing a damaged vehicle or the cost of replacing one that is beyond being repaired. Collision coverage will include a deductible amount, for which the policyholder is responsible to pay before company claims benefits kick in.


Comprehensive insurance covers just about everything that can happen to a car that doesn’t involve a collision. This could include vandalism, theft, and a broken windshield as the result of a high, foul baseball or being crushed under a falling tree. This coverage, like collision insurance, will usually carry a deductible amount, although deductible amounts are also optional and can be set as low as zero. This may significantly increase your auto insurance rates.

Other optional add ons include uninsured/underinsured coverage and loss of use protection, which pays for a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired. Even roadside assistance can be included in most current auto insurance policies as another optional add on.