An automobile policy is a contract between the insured and the insurer. The insured will pay a premium and the insurer will cover the cost of a loss as defined in the automobile policy. Automobile insurance provides financial coverage in the event of an accident, vandalism, theft or collision involving a motor vehicle. It protects you, your passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, your vehicle and other people's property. It can also help protect you in the event of an automobile-related lawsuit.
Automobile policies typically provide liability, medical and property coverage. Liability coverage pays for bodily injuries, death or property damage sustained by others. Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation, replacing services and in some cases lost wages and funeral expenses. Property damage coverage covers damage the policyholder caused to someone else's property. This will be covered up to the limit of liability you select.
A basic automobile policy is likely to provide the following coverage:
Bodily Injury Liability
Covers injuries or death the insured caused to someone else by an act of negligence. In New York State a person must breach the New York State Serious Injury Threshold in order to file a bodily injury claim. Any claim or suit asking for damages which are payable under the terms of the policy may be settled or defended by an insurance carrier. In addition to the limit of liability, the insurer will pay all defense costs that they incur on your behalf.
Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Covers the treatment of injuries to the driver, the passengers of the policyholder's vehicle and pedestrians. PIP, also known as no-fault coverage may cover medical payments, lost wages, funeral services and the cost of replacing services. An example of replacing services is child care for a disabled parent.
Covers damage to the policyholder's vehicle due to a collision. The collision can be with another motor vehicle, a fixed object or a vehicle rollover.
Property Damage Liability
Covers damage the policyholder caused to someone else's property
Covers all damage to the policyholder's vehicle that doesn't involve a collision with another vehicle or fixed object. Such as, fire, theft, falling objects, explosion, earthquake, flood, riot or a hitting an animal.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Provides coverage for injuries sustained as a result of collision with a negligent uninsured driver.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Provides coverage for your injuries when a negligent driver has an auto liability policy but the limits of liability are inadequate and can not pay for all of the damages.
Towing & Rental Reimbursement
Covers the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired due to an accident. Daily allowances or limits vary by state or policy provision. The towing covers the cost towing your vehicle due to a breakdown or if you are not able to drive your vehicle due to an accident.
Other Auto Insurance Features
Depending on the carrier you choose, some of the additional features that can be added to your policy are roadside assistance, accident forgiveness, vanishing deductible, deductible waver and new car replacement.