USA: Car Insurance Coverage – Basic & Full
The U.S. auto insurance system can be confusing for someone who is just starting to drive or who has just arrived in the U.S. and is not familiar with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regulations. But don’t be alarmed, because auto insurance is designed to provide coverage for all drivers, as long as they carry the right coverage that meets all their needs.
By law, all car drivers need to carry a basic coverage, known as liability, that allows them to keep their car registration valid with the DMV. Not having liability coverage on a registered vehicle could result in high DMV fines and legal problems in the event of an accident.
The basic coverage is therefore what all drivers need to carry and is part of a system designed to cover all vehicles in the USA. The coverage itself does not cover damage to your vehicle, only third party damage. In other words, if there is an automobile accident and you are responsible for the damages, your automobile insurance will be responsible for covering these expenses.
However, the basic coverage has limits, and if the expenses you have caused exceed what your insurance policy specifies, you will have to find a way to pay for them on your own. These limits depend on the state you are in, but they usually designate more than $10,000 for property damage and $15,000 for medical expenses (if there is more than one injured driver, medical expenses go up to $30,000).
It should be noted that liability coverage does not cover you, only the drivers or property you damaged. It’s important to understand that aspect of insurance.
Full cover is the combination of two coverage that protect your vehicle regardless of the incident. These coverage are comprehensive and collision. Both function as one and ensure that your car will be completely repaired in case it is declared a total loss, or even give you a new vehicle. Coverage also covers vandalism and natural disasters, and requires a deductible, i.e., an amount to be paid in case of any damage.
You can find out more about full coverage here, or with your auto insurance agent. The important thing is to know how the system works and what tools you should take for these prevented in case of the worst.
Since we know that liability coverage (the coverage that every policy must carry) is required by law and only covers third parties (not you), now is the time to know those coverage that could protect you and even give you a new vehicle in case yours is completely destroyed.
Other coverage include medical expenses for you and your passengers, an increase in liability limits and even roadside assistance. It depends a lot on the car company you choose and your budget.