Accident Resolution Method
- Most states use the tort system for resolving accident fault and penalty. Some states, including Florida, use a no-fault system where the driver's insurance guarantees liability coverage, but the policyholder forfeits the right to seek legal recourse if the claim is settled unsatisfactorily. No fault insurance systems provide protection regardless of fault, while a tort system allows you to carry the case to a court of law if you do not receive the necessary compensation in an accident.
Auto Insurance and Vehicle Registration
- The insurance on your vehicle is closely tied to the registration of the vehicle. If you are convicted for driving without proof of insurance, your vehicle tags and registration could be suspended, along with your driver's license. Some states, including Florida and California, have the authority to impound vehicles that are not properly insured.
Basic Liability Requirements
- There are two forms of basic liability in auto insurance coverages. Bodily injury liability covers the injuries and medical needs of a person you injured in an accident and includes such items as compensation for pain and suffering or lost wages resulting from injuries. Property damage liability pays for the repair or replacement of someone else's property that was damaged by your insured vehicle.
- Collision coverage pays to repair your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident and you are found to be at fault. Ordinarily, property liability insurance will repair the other person's car but you have to pay for your own repairs out of pocket. Collision coverage also pays for repairs due to objects hitting your vehicle, and for damage caused by an unknown fault party such as in a hit-and-run accident.
- Comprehensive insurance, sometimes called full coverage, offers you protection against hail, vandalism and theft or burglary. It is also your main protection against storm damage, fire and other natural hazards. Comprehensive coverage is not required by any state laws, but it may be a condition of purchasing or leasing a car from a dealership.
Useful Insurance Riders
- To round out your policy for maximum protection, you can purchase riders, or insurance add-ons, to supplement your car insurance policy. Financed vehicles may be required to carry GAP coverage to protect the dealership against the car being totaled or stolen, as one example, and roadside assistance to repair a flat tire is another. Auto insurance riders can also cover such conveniences as towing or reimbursement of the cost of a rental car.