Car insurance is an important piece of protection that most drivers need to carry. It exists to help you pay for the unexpected costs that might arise following vehicle wrecks or other driving hazards. However, if you only carry your state’s minimum policy limits, you often aren’t doing yourself the greatest service. Generally, you should consider buying a full-coverage auto policy instead.
Full coverage auto insurance is more than what is required of you, but it is a much better level of protection than you would have with only a minimum policy. There are many more benefits within this policy, and your chosen coverage can often greatly reduce your cost burden following accidents.
Understanding Minimum Insurance Coverage
Driving is a risky business, and the authorities expect all drivers to follow the rules of the road. However, because it is impossible to avoid accidents, most states require drivers to carry auto insurance.
Virginia has instituted an at-fault car insurance system for registered drivers. This means that the party who causes the accident must pay for the resulting costs, not only for themselves but also for others. To help ensure that you are able to pay third parties for their losses that are your fault, you have a requirement to carry auto liability insurance. This coverage does not pay you directly, but rather compensates someone else for harm caused by your negligence.
All Virginia drivers have to carry at least the following amounts of liability insurance:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $20,000 property damage liability coverage
Your bodily injury liability coverage will pay for the injury costs of third-party drivers, their passengers, pedestrians or others injured in at-fault accidents. Property damage coverage pays for the damage done to the third party’s vehicle or other property.
However, the minimum liability insurance alone will not provide you the highest level of protection available. These liability policy limits are considerably low, and liability coverage alone will not pay for any of your own vehicle damage or injury costs. That’s why you should always carry more coverage than your general liability policy.
What is full coverage auto insurance?
If you want more coverage for more vehicle accident costs, then full auto insurance coverage is your best option. Full coverage auto insurance is not a specific type of policy. It is simply the policy that offers you an optimized degree of benefits for the value of your vehicle, injury costs and liability costs owed to others. To say you have full coverage might mean different things for different drivers.
What coverage will I need for full coverage?
To achieve an optimized level of full coverage, you will likely need to add several expanded benefits to your auto policy. These will usually include:
- Increased Liability Insurance
Though you only technically have to have the minimum amount of liability coverage within your auto policy, this coverage might not be enough for some of the costliest accidents you might encounter.
By increasing your liability coverage limits, you’ll be able to receive more assistance when an accident is your fault. That way, you’ll be able to avoid having to pay for outstanding third-party costs that are your responsibility to pay.
- Collision & Comprehensive Insurance
Full coverage auto policies are supposed to be able to help you pay for the damage your own vehicle sustains. To achieve this coverage, you will need two types of benefits–collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Collision insurance offers you benefits for your car’s damage in case of an accident. On the other hand, Comprehensive coverage pays for your vehicle’s damage when that damage is not related to an accident. It might pay for damage from fires, severe weather, vandalism, theft and similar losses.
In most cases, this coverage will pay for repairs to your car, or provide you with a settlement for a car that is beyond repair. Usually, the settlement for a totaled car will equal the car’s actual cash value at the time of the accident, as opposed to the value of a new car.
- Medical Payments Benefits
Should you or your passengers get hurt in wrecks, then your medical bills might be extremely high. Even if you have quality health insurance, you can receive additional assistance from medical benefits within your auto policy. This coverage can help you pay for these expenses and reduce their personal burden on your billfold.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
An essential piece of protection that you should always within full auto coverage is uninsured motorist coverage. It will help you pay for your own damage costs, using your own benefits, when another at-fault part does not have liability insurance to compensate you. Though the law requires drivers to carry liability insurance, there is no guarantee that they will do so. Therefore, your uninsured motorist coverage can be a benefit to you when someone else cannot meet their obligations to you.
There are many ways that you can tailor a full coverage auto policy to your greatest benefit. Therefore, it helps to work with an agency that has your interests at heart when helping you research policy options. Don’t hesitate to contact our agency with all of your auto insurance needs. We’re able to help you with a full range of necessary policy services.
Also Read: What Is Basic Auto Insurance Coverage?