Nearly every state requires you to have a basic level of car insurance, but you may want to add a few extras under certain circumstances. These extras give you greater coverage with more flexibility to better ensure that you pay less out of your own pocket for a covered loss. Here is more information about the differences between required and optional insurance as well as a list of useful insurance add-ons.
Usually, the minimum type of insurance that most states require is some level of liability insurance. Some states require more of this type of insurance than others. Liability insurance covers the injuries and damage to the other person if you are at fault for an accident. Many states have "no fault" liability insurance where each company pays the other driver for damages.
If you are financing your car, then the finance company will likely require you to have additional insurance to cover property loss. The common name for this type of insurance is collision and comprehensive. Both cover your vehicle for damages for things beyond your control such as fire, theft, vandalism, and acts of nature.
Helpful Optional Insurance
Other than liability, collision, and comprehensive, most other types of insurance are not required, but recommended. Some types of optional insurance may be automatically included with your policy, while others may cost extra. Here are some examples of optional auto insurance.
This insurance covers jump starts, towing, and other types of roadside issues and remedies. Some companies automatically include this insurance with a liability policy.
Rental Car Insurance
If your car is in the shop for an extended period, then this insurance will cover some, or all, of the cost of rental car.
If you have medical insurance with a deductible, then this insurance is very helpful in covering part of that deductible if you have an accident. It applies regardless of fault or the other person's coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
This type of insurance is important if you live in an area with a high percentage of uninsured or unlicensed drivers. It covers you if the other person is at fault and has no insurance. It is usually included with collision and comprehensive, but with a waivable deductible.
Guaranteed Auto Protection
If your car is totaled, this insurance will cover the gap between how much your car is worth versus how much you owe on your loan.
Even though these types of insurance are optional, they can be helpful if you have a higher risk or need of them. If you think you could use some of these extra insurance features, or you want to know more about them, then contact an automobile insurance company for help.