Auto insurance is a form of insurance available to consumers who own cars, trucks and other vehicles. It covers the insured party against the risks involved in owning or driving a vehicle. This may be a car accident, damage caused to other cars or property, loss to passengers in your car, and damage to your car itself.
There are different levels of insurance available depending on what risks you wants to cover. You can cover against the costs of repairing your vehicle after an accident. You can cover the cost of purchasing a new car should yours be stolen or damaged beyond repair. These are optional covers.
Liability insurance on the other hand is compulsory for all drivers. This will cover the risk of claims being made against you as the driver or owner of the vehicle that caused damage to the property of another, the vehicle of another, for medical expenses of others injured as a result of an accident, including passengers in your car. If you have liability insurance, it will only cover these risks. If you have comprehensive insurance it will cover also the risks to yourself and your own vehicle.
However, even comprehensive insurance will not fully cover your risks. First of all there is the issue that, as soon as you buy a new car, its price suddenly drops significantly because it is no longer new. It is used. So if you were to destroy your car the day after buying it, the insurance company would likely assess the value as something less than what you paid for it, even though you may still owe a good deal more than that in payments and financing.
To cover the chances of this happening, so called GAP insurance was developed. This covers the difference in the actual value of your car, and the amount you still owe in payments. The growth of vehicle leasing has also led to GAP insurance becoming more important.
In the US, the insurance policy will generally cover the owner of the vehicle and any others who drive the vehicle so long as they do not live at the same address. For those living at the same address, you should have them specifically added to your insurance policy for an extra fee. This means that if you crash someone else’s car, while driving it with their permission, you will be covered by their policy, not your own. Non-owner policies are available to cover you on other people’s cars but these will only be available if you do not own your own car.