Many drivers feel they need insurance protection besides the basic liability insurance coverage.

  • Medical payment insurance pays for your medical costs up to the limit stated in the policy. It covers you or your family whether you are a rider or a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. Some policies also cover you when you are in someone else’s car. Passengers in your car also are covered. Medical payment insurance usually covers funeral expenses in connection with an automobile accident. However, some policies pay only the amount not covered by other collectible health or accident insurance. Check with your health insurance agent to determine if you need additional medical coverage.
  • Comprehensive insurance pays for damages to your car from risks such as fire, theft, explosion, windstorm, hail, vandalism, glass breakage, birds and animals. Risks covered are listed in your policy under the insuring agreements section. This coverage may have no deductible or a $100 or $250 deductible or more. The deductible is the amount of any loss you must pay before the insurance company will cover damages.
  • Collision insurance covers damage caused by the collision of your car, regardless of who is responsible. This type of insurance usually includes a deductible. Again, you pay the deductible amount when you have an accident, and the insurance company pays the rest, within the limits of the policy.
  • Uninsured motorist insurance covers your bodily injuries and those of your passengers if you are hit by a car whose driver is at fault and does not have enough insurance to cover the expenses of the injuries, or if you are injured by a hit and run driver.

If you have a late model or expensive car, you should consider purchasing comprehensive and collision insurance to protect you financially in case of damage to your car or theft (most companies will not sell collision without comprehensive coverage).

If the car is financed by a lending institution, the lender may require comprehensive and collision insurance to protect its interest in your car. A lender cannot require you to purchase insurance from a particular agent or company. You often can save money purchasing the insurance protection on your own.

Insurance companies may offer other optional coverage, such as towing, rental and labor benefits. When comparing policy premiums, make sure to consider similar coverage. Not all insurance buying decisions are simple or clearcut. When in doubt, remember it is more important to have insurance against large losses that could threaten your standard of living than to have protection against small losses you can afford to pay yourself.