Types of Auto Insurance Coverage: What do They Mean?

Posted by Chris Medine on Jun 25, 2019 10:50:00 AM

Car Insurance - Business Concept. Blue Arrow with Car Insurance Words on a Grey Background.Let’s say you were just involved in a collision.  You take all the right steps – file a police report, contact your insurance agency, and have your car taken to a local body shop.  Then, you discover, that your insurance won’t cover the damages, or at least not to the extent you thought they would.  You’re confused.  You pay monthly premiums for coverage.  How could this not be covered?  Unfortunately, this is an incident that many drivers find themselves in every day.  They are aware that they pay for auto insurance coverage, but they are unaware of the many specific types of coverage and which ones are on their policy, a fact that can make a very big difference when it comes time to repair or replace your damaged vehicle. 

For Louisiana residents, the bad news is that if you are carrying state minimum coverage, you are largely uncovered.  The state really only requires you to have insurance that protects others from damage you may cause them, not the other way around.  If you want to ensure that you are fully protected, you need to understand all of the following types of coverage that may be added to your policy:

What is Liability Auto Insurance?

Liability coverage is the minimum that the state of Louisiana, and most other states, require of drivers on their roads.  This coverage protects other drivers by providing for expenses they may incur as the result of an accident for which you were at-fault.

What is Collision Auto Insurance?

Collision insurance is an additional add-on which can help cover the costs to repair or replace your own damaged vehicle following an accident.

What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance?

Beyond collisions, a car can also be damaged in ways that do not involve another vehicle.  It could be vandalized, stolen, or damaged by weather-related events like hail.  This is where comprehensive collision comes into play.

What is Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

On occasion, you may find yourself involved in an accident with an at-fault motorist who has no insurance, flees the scene, or who has insufficient coverage limits to cover the entirety of your costs.  Having this type of coverage can help cover the difference and ensure that you are still able to afford the necessary repairs to your vehicle.

What is Gap Auto Insurance?

It’s an unfortunate reality that your car’s value begins to depreciate from the very moment you drive it off the lot.  Because of this, drivers often find themselves in situations where the estimated value of their car is less than they actually owe.  This can quickly become problematic when you’ve been in an accident that has left your car totaled.  In such a situation, the auto insurance settlement you are given will not be enough to cover all that you owe to your creditor.  Therefore, you’ll have to pay the remaining balance out-of-pocket while also shopping for a new vehicle.  Gap insurance helps motorists avoid this scenario by guaranteeing that your insurance provider will pay the entirety of what is still owed on a totaled vehicle, even if it is more than the car’s actual value.

Carrying auto insurance is not only smart, it’s the law.  However, even following the minimums of the law will not be enough to keep you safely covered in many situations.  To ensure that you are fully protected, regardless of the nature of your accident, speak to your insurance agent about each of the types of coverage listed above.  While your premiums may increase, you can avoid a much bigger potential expense and headache in the future. 

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