What Damage Does Car Insurance Cover?

The damages that your car insurance covers depend entirely on what level of coverage you have purchased, other than bodily injury coverage. Basic coverage will only pay for the damages to the other driver if you are found at fault for the accident but will not offer you any protection. Full coverage, on the other hand, will pay for damages to both yourself and your vehicle; however, make sure you familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions on your policy to understand fully what damages are covered.

Damages to your Car

Let's start with the basics - property liability coverage. Property damage liability will pay for the expenses to the other driver's car if you are found at fault for the accident. This includes things like bumper repairs, broken windscreens or even a full replacement if the car is considered a write off. Property damage liability will also cover damages to property. If, for example, you run into a gate or into the window of a shop, then your property damage liability will pay for these losses.

When you choose full coverage you are getting additional coverage for your own car. Full coverage includes collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is defined as coverage for on-road costs in the event of an accident. This includes any single or multi vehicle accident, from t-bones to pileups and rollovers. Any damage to your vehicle will be covered if in an accident unless the damage is too much and it is cheaper to simply pay the driver out.

Your collision car insurance will most likely not cover you if you get a flat tire in the middle of the road or if a rock hits your windscreen; however, it can offer protection if you break your windscreen in a car accident or if your tires are damaged during a serious roll over. Your insurance will normally pay for all physical damage to your car. This includes damage to the paint, the wind screen, the doors as well as damage under the hood such as to the radiator, the carburetor or the valve.

Comprehensive coverage takes care of the damage incurred off the road. This includes things like a broken windscreen if someone breaks into your car or a flooded engine if your vehicle is damaged in a storm. Hurricane, tornado, hail, wind, vandalism and hit and run damage are all normally covered under comprehensive insurance.

Additional Damage to Consider

There are additional expenses you need to also think about when in an accident. For example, what about the payment for a tow truck to get your car off barrier in the middle of the intersection after it has been totaled? What about the costs to rent a new car for the three weeks yours is in the shops waiting for a new radiator after yours was damaged in a rear-ender? Roadside assistance coverage will cover the former expense while loss of use coverage will pay for a rental car.

Damage to yourself, or injuries sustained to your passengers will fall into the category of personal injury protection which is not required by law in many states but is a good addition to any policy. This includes things like medical costs for surgery, hospital stays and even includes a clause for loss of income. Make sure you review your policy to see how much coverage you have in each clause. $300,000 of PIP does not mean you will be given a check for $300,000 if you cannot work for a year. Review your policy often to determine what car insurance damage coverage you have and what damage your provider will actually cover.

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