Car Insurance

From information on major carriers to money-saving tips, you'll find smart car insurance basics here.

Car Insurance 101

What is car insurance?

Car insurance covers you in case you are at fault for an accident, and it can offer protection in case someone else is at fault and doesn’t have insurance. The minimum insurance coverage required by most states is called bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance.

Factors that go into your car insurance include your driving history, the type of vehicle you drive, where you live and what type of home you live in, as well as your credit history in some cases.

Discounts are often provided by insurance companies as a way of retaining their customers. Those discounts range from antilock brake discounts to senior driver discounts, and they can help you save money on your car insurance premiums.

Top car insurance companies

It's Auto Insurance 101’s job to do a little bit of research to see which is the best car insurance company for your needs. There are things to consider, such as what additional coverage you will need beyond just the minimum state coverage and what coverage your lender may require.

We’ve done some work to identify the cheapest car insurance companies and even compared the top insurance companies head-to-head to help you throughout your car insurance shopping journey.

Car insurance by state

Minimum requirements for car insurance will vary by state. In addition to the minimum requirements, the hazards and risks to your car will vary by state. For example, California has earthquakes to contend with, where Florida has hurricanes. These natural disasters cause different types of damage, thus carry different risks and premiums.

Check out more information about car insurance coverage in specific states:

Each of these states comes with a different set of hazards, so insurance costs will vary. As mentioned, it will vary on other factors as well, so be prepared for a change if you move from one state to another.

Types of car insurance coverage

In addition to the minimum standard coverage, there is additional coverage you can purchase, which may or may not be required by your lender. Some common types of auto coverage include:

  • Bodily injury liability: covers injury to another party in an accident
  • Collision: covers collision with another vehicle or object
  • Comprehensive: covers anything that isn’t covered by collision
  • Property damage liability: covers property damage caused by your car

When comparing quotes, make sure you are comparing the right types of coverage and deductibles. This is critical to getting accurate representations of your potential savings.

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