To understand your purchase of auto insurance, you should be familiar with a few terms.
Liability insurance covers bodily injury to other people and damage to the property of others caused by your negligence or the negligence of someone driving your car with your permission. A minimum of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $10,000 per accident for property damage liability, is required by law, but drivers are strongly urged to consider higher limits.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers bodily injury to you, your relatives who live with you and your passengers if they are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, a motorist whose bodily injury liability limits are less than your uninsured/underinsured motorist limits or a hit-and-run driver. The standard coverage is an amount equal to your bodily injury liability coverage, but you may purchase additional coverage up to an amount double your bodily injury liability. The minimum amount required by law is $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident.
Underinsured motorist conversion coverage also provides for reimbursement in case you are injured by an underinsured driver. If your damages exceed the at-fault driverís insurance, or other payments, your underinsured motorist conversion coverage will be available for damages not paid. This optional coverage is not reduced by payments from any other source, including the at-fault driverís liability insurance.
For example, if you have uninsured/underinsured coverage of $300,000 and you sustain $400,000 in personal injuries caused by an at-fault driver with $200,000 in bodily injury liability, without underinsured conversion coverage you would only be able to collect the $200,000 from the other driverís insurance plus $100,000 from your own underinsured coverage, which equals your $300,000 limit minus the $200,000 collected from the other driverís insurance. With conversion coverage, you could collect the full $200,000 from your own underinsured coverage.
Basic reparations or medical payments coverage. This optional coverage replaces formerly mandatory coverage and provides for medical payments, and in some cases, lost wages and funeral expenses if you or a relative living with you are injured or killed in an accident.
Collision coverage covers damage to your car caused by collision with another vehicle or object or by your car turning over. There is almost always a deductible which you must pay if you repair or replace the car.
Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car other than that caused by collision, including theft, vandalism, impact with animals or birds, explosion, flood, falling objects, windstorm and glass breakage. As with collision coverage, there is usually a deductible.
Full glass coverage covers your carís glass for breakage of safety glass with no deductible for an extra premium. Towing coverage covers the expense of towing your car to a shop. Rental reimbursement pays toward the expense of renting a vehicle if you have a loss covered by either collision or comprehensive coverage and your car is disabled.