What Is Car Insurance, and Why Is It Important?

Young man leaning on crashed car, low section
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Payment after payment month after month may leave you wondering what the purpose of car insurance is. If you have never filed a claim, are a new driver, or new to car ownership, it can be increasingly frustrating because of the high cost combined with the feeling of not getting anything in return. Believe it, car insurance does have a purpose and is not a scam. Understanding what car insurance is for will alleviate some of your concerns.

Car Insurance is for Financial Protection

If you carry PLPD only on your car, it is possible you will never file a claim. Insurance is a game of chance. Maybe your car did get damaged and you have car insurance, but no coverage to fix it. It is at this point in time when you feel your car insurance is worthless, but you get what you pay for. PLPD does not cover physical damage to your car. It does however, offer you protection for other types of losses.

  • Injuries, Pain, and Suffering to Others Depending on Your State's Laws
  • Property Damage
  • Medical Costs for You (Automatically included with liability policies if you live in a no-fault state.)

PLPD car insurance protects you against lawsuits. If you are at-fault in a car accident, the injured party will want compensation. Without car insurance, you will be held financially responsible and potentially forced to pay for all the damages out of your own pocket.

Most people cannot afford to self-insure, which is why most states require at least PLPD to be purchased for all drivers.

Years without a claim may make you wonder if you need car insurance at all. Nothing ever happens so why keep paying the premiums? It is good to not have any claims. It will keep your insurance rate lower and you can avoid claim hassles.

By continuing to carry car insurance you are legal to drive and have protection for a possible future claim.

Car Insurance is for Physical Damage Repairs

Car insurance can pay to repair your vehicle after an accident depending on what coverage you select. A vehicle is often a major expense and you want to protect it. Comprehensive and collision each offers coverage for physical damage, which comes with a lot of rules regarding what is covered and what is not.

  • Comprehensive┬ácoverage is for anything other than a collision. Fire, theft, vandalism, deer, and storm damage all fall under comprehensive. Usually, comprehensive is required in order to get roadside assistance. It is also required in order to purchase collision coverage.
  • Collision coverage protects your vehicle against accidents. Collisions with automobiles, mailboxes, light posts, trees, and any other inanimate object. A deductible is often required to be paid before getting your repaired vehicle back. Collision coverage most often comes into play when you are at fault or do not know who damaged your vehicle.

Car Insurance is NOT for Mechanical Repairs

Unless your mechanical damage was caused by an exterior factor such as vandalism, fire, or a collision, your car insurance will not cover it.

Wear and tear or bad workmanship is not something your car insurance handles. All mechanical repairs are your responsibility or possibly covered by your warranty if you have one.

Car insurance is for sudden accidental occurrences, not auto maintenance. For those of you who feel like you have paid in to your car insurance way more than you will ever get out, consider yourself lucky. Claims, especially severe claims are always best avoided. Think of car insurance as protection against the unthinkable. Car accidents occur every single day. Each state mandates its own set of car insurance laws and enforce strict penalties when caught driving without it. Car insurance laws not only protect you from yourself but from the other drivers on the road. Keep your car insurance active at all times, you might be extremely grateful one day for that "useless" policy.