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Automobile Insurance: The Different Coverages


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Most states require a minimum amount of insurance to register and legally operate a vehicle. While most insurance companies or brokers will tell you what those minimums are, you can check for yourself with your state's insurance department offsite link. However, keep in mind that generally the minimum requirements do not come close to covering the potential losses you might experience. Increasing your limits beyond what is required by law generally does not increase your premiums by much.

The amount of auto insurance you need varies with your state's legal requirements, your assets and income, the value of your car, and the adequacy of the other types of insurance you may have.

Depending on your individual circumstances, you might not need all the different types of automobile coverage. At the least, liability coverage to protect against injury to other people is essential to protect against financial ruin.

We provide a description of the different types of automobile insurance available, together with pointers to help you decide which types you need, and in what amount.

If you use an insurance broker, he or she should be able to recommend the proper coverage for you. (See How To Choose and Maximize Use Of An Insurance Professional.)

If you plan on driving into Mexico or Canada (for instance, because medications are cheaper in those countries), check whether your policy covers. If not, purchase additional insurance.

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