Full coverage car insurance normally includes liability insurance, collision insurance, and comprehensive insurance, with each type of coverage providing a different form of protection. Here are details of each coverage.
The WA car insurance reimburses injury and material damage that you accidentally cause to others with your vehicle. For example, if you accidentally crash into another car, injure the driver and damage their car, your liability insurance will pay their medical bills and car repair costs, up to the limits of your policy. Liability insurance also covers court rulings or settlements and legal defense costs if you are sued in a car accident.
Auto insurance liability is shown as three numbers, such as 50/100/50. These numbers represent the maximum payout limit for each part of your liability coverage.
50/100/50 translates to:
- 50 refers to $50,000 in bodily injury liability per person injured in an accident.
- 100 refers to $100,000 in bodily injury liability in total for one car accident.
- 50 refers to $50,000 in property damage liability per accident.
Your state has a minimum amount of liability coverage you must carry. Most state minimums are insufficient, especially if you cause a serious or multi-car accident. It’s smart to buy higher limits, such as 100/300/100, to protect you and the assets that could be taken from you in a lawsuit.
WA car insurance only covers those you cause damage in a car accident. Liability insurance does not cover you, your passengers or your vehicle.
Collision and extended coverage
Collision and extended coverage are separate coverages, but are usually sold together.
Collision coverage. Pays to repair or replace your car if it collides with another vehicle or object, such as a fence or post, regardless of the breakdown. Collision insurance also pays for your vehicle getting upset, such as accidentally rolling off an embankment.
Extensive coverage. Pays to repair or replace your car if it is stolen or damaged by fire, vandalism, flood, hail, collision with an animal, severe weather or falling objects.
Suppose your car slides on ice and crashes into a guardrail. Collision coverage would pay for the damage to your car (and your liability coverage would pay for the damaged guardrail).
If your car is pelted with hail and riddled with dents, your comprehensive coverage will pay for repairs.
Both collision and comprehensive coverage have a deductible, such as $500 or $1,000. The deductible is the amount that is deducted from your declaration check. For example, if an accident repair costs $1,500 and you have a $500 deductible, your insurance claim payout is $1,000.
Collision and hull pay you the depreciated value of your vehicle if your car is totaled or stolen. The maximum damage payment in case of collision and hull is the value of your car just before the accident or the damage minus your deductible.
Collision and comprehensive coverage are not required by any state, but if your car is on a lease or loan, your lender will likely require you to carry both coverages.
Also see: Does car insurance cover snow and ice damage?
What other covers can be included in a full cover policy?
Some states require other coverages to be part of auto insurance. Common government-required coverage includes uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury coverage, and medical payment coverage.
Uninsured cover for motorists
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an accident and the driver at fault is uninsured. Depending on where you live and the policy you choose, it may also cover damage to your car when the driver at fault is uninsured.
Uninsured motorist coverage is sold in limits that match your liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in some states and optional in others.
Protection of personal injury and medical payments
Personal Injury Coverage (PIP) covers the medical costs of you and your passengers, regardless of who caused the car accident. PIP insurance also pays for lost wages and replacement services, such as childcare, if your injury prevents you from performing an essential job. Some states require PIP. In others it is optional or not offered.
Medical Payment Coverage (MedPay) helps pay medical bills related to a car accident for you and your passengers regardless of the fault. It’s mandatory in a few states, but optional in most, if offered at all.
To expand your full coverage auto insurance plan even further, there are other types of auto insurance policies you can add. Optional coverages that give you extra protection include rent compensation, roadside assistance and gap insurance.