Auto Coverage Crash Course

Have you ever taken a look at you insurance policy? When your renewal offer comes in the mail, do you just check to make sure the price didn’t increase and then file it away in a cabinet or drawer? What are you really paying for? What will that policy do for you in the event of an accident or loss?

If you don’t take a little time to review and understand your policy, it could cost you financially. Take a few minutes to see what you are really getting in exchange for those premium payments.

Got your policy in hand? Good. Here are a few things to consider when looking it over.

Liabilitymedical paymentscomprehensive…Huh? Lots of different coverages and no idea what they actually cover? Don’t worry; let’s break them down.

Liability coverage

You want to make sure you can cover any personal injury and/or property damage you may cause, right? That’s what this will do. Most times, you will see it in split limits, for instance, 100/300/100. What does this mean? The first two amounts are for bodily injury. In this case, the policy would pay out 100,000 per person and up to 300,000 per occurrence. The last number is for property damage and would pay out up to 100,00 per occurrence.

Do you see only one amount for liability coverage on your policy? That is referred to as single limit liability. It just means that, per occurrence, you policy would pay out up to that amount. No property damage limit and no “per person” limit.

Medical Payments

What about injuries to you or your passengers, you say? Medical payments will help out REGARDLESS OF FAULT. That’s right. Even if you caused the accident, you can still use this coverage to help with the expenses.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury. Hopefully, if someone causes you bodily injury in an accident they will have liability coverage for your injuries. If not, this coverage will step in for you.

Uninsured Property Damage

Same idea as uninsured bodily injury coverage, but this is for property.


You will need this if you want your vehicle repaired or replaced if you damage it in a collision you caused. It can also apply if an uninsured motorist causes the damage, he/she doesn’t have liability coverage, and you don’t have uninsured property damage coverage. A deductible applies, unless your company offers a zero deductible and you choose it.


Also referred to as “other than collision” coverage because it pays almost every other type of vehicle damage or loss (not excluded by your policy). Fire engulf you vehicle? Covered. Stolen? Covered. Flood, wind, or hail damage? Covered. Targeted by a missile strike? Yep. Covered.

While you should have a better understanding of your policy, you may want a more in-depth look at your coverages and options. These vary between insurance companies and states, so it is a good idea to speak with your licensed insurance agent for a comprehensive review of your policy. Your agent can counsel you and make coverage recommendations based of you life situation.