The Best Car Insurance Policies for Your Budget and Needs

The best car insurance policies meet your state’s minimum requirements while also protecting you and others on the road. Coverage limits, deductibles and premiums vary by insurer.

Progressive offers customizable coverage with the Name Your Price tool. It also has low rates for young drivers and senior citizens, and offers accident forgiveness and new-car replacement coverage. Its Drive Easy usage-based insurance program can unlock savings for good drivers, and bundling saves 8% on average.

1. Comprehensive Coverage

Unlike collision car insurance, comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from damage caused by non-collision events. It also takes care of third-party liability damages. A comprehensive policy often covers the actual cash value of your car (ACV), which is what you would receive if you sold your vehicle in its current condition.

It is typically cheaper than a full-coverage policy. It pays to protect your vehicle from things out of your control like falling objects, weather or animal encounters (deer crossing the road is an example). Some finance and lease companies require comprehensive coverage as a requirement for leasing or financing vehicles. Comprehensive coverage is also available as a standalone policy or added to your state-mandated car insurance. It’s worth considering when determining your budget for car insurance.

2. Collision Coverage

A collision car insurance policy covers damage to your vehicle from an accident, whether or not you are at fault. This type of coverage can help you recoup some or all the cost of repairs and can be added to a comprehensive policy for a reasonable premium.

Auto-Owners: Offers competitive rates, a wide range of coverage options including gap insurance and vanishing deductibles, and a good customer satisfaction rating. It also offers a number of discounts for families and senior drivers. Auto-Owners also has the lowest insurance rates in the country for drivers with an at-fault accident on their record.

The General: Offers nonstandard auto insurance and filing an SR-22, which is typically required for high-risk drivers with a DUI or multiple at-fault accidents. It has below average rates for most drivers and a low number of complaints.

3. Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Every time you drive, your vehicle is in contact with hundreds of other cars and drivers. Many of those drivers, unfortunately, don’t have insurance or don’t have enough coverage to pay for the costs of an accident.

UM/UIM covers your medical bills and other expenses related to an accident caused by an uninsured driver. It may also help pay for your car’s repairs if the other driver’s property damage liability limits aren’t enough to cover the cost of the accident.

Some states require UM/UIM while others allow it to be purchased as an add-on. It’s typically inexpensive and will provide peace of mind if you ever get in an accident with an uninsured driver. Your insurance professional can give you more details about the specifics of your UM/UIM options.

4. Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage, or MedPay, is an optional car insurance add-on that helps pay for accident-related injuries to you and your passengers. It is similar to personal injury protection (PIP), which is required in no-fault states and has more extensive benefits like wage reimbursement if you miss work after an accident, but MedPay typically doesn’t include a deductible.

You can add MedPay to your policy for as little as $5 a month, and it may help you save on medical bills when compared with out-of-pocket costs from a health insurer after an accident. To find the best MedPay rates, compare quotes from companies with 24/7 customer service and financial strength ratings from third-party rating agencies.

5. Comprehensive Collision Coverage

While some drivers can get away with only liability coverage, comprehensive and collision insurance is often needed to cover the most common car damage claims. These types of policies (sometimes called full coverage) can help pay for repairs or even total vehicle replacement if the car is damaged by things like natural disasters, theft, vandalism and animal collision.

Comprehensive and collision coverage is often a must-have for those who live in risky areas, those with high-value cars or those whose financial situation wouldn’t allow them to pay the full cost of a costly car repair out of pocket. It’s also a must-have for anyone who leases or finances a vehicle, as banks require that these policies be carried until the loan or lease is paid off.

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