Optional insurance coverage are those that are not required by your local laws but that can still be a tremendous benefit if you need to use them. In most states, the legal requirements are limited to liability coverage for other peopleâ€™s property and injury and sometimes minimal coverage for your own injuries and those riding in your vehicle. Protecting yourself and your own property are rarely a requirement, and could leave you at a loss without the optional coverage available from insurance companies.
Collision Insurance – Collision coverage pays for damages to your own vehicle. Without it, your insurance policy will pay for other peopleâ€™s property damage under the required property damage liability coverage, but you would have to pay for your own repairs out of pocket.
Comprehensive Coverage – Comprehensive insurance pays for damages and losses that are incurred through reasons other than collision. This might include vandalism, theft or fire, among other perils. Comprehensive insurance may be required by the finance company that backs your auto loan, but is not required by state minimum insurance laws.
Medical Payments – Medical payments is an optional coverage in most states, but not all. It is also known as PIP, or personal Injury Protection, and is the basic type of insurance in some states. This type of insurance pays for injuries you sustain in an accident, and may cover other medically related losses, including loss of income through inability to work during recovery.
Towing and Roadside Assistance – Towing and roadside assistance are both optional insurance riders that can save you money. Neither coverage is mandated by state laws, but both can be priceless if you are stranded and need to tow your vehicle or have a flat tire replaced in an unfamiliar or unsafe location.
Rental Car Reimbursement – Rental car reimbursement is a type of insurance that will pay you back the money you spend to rent a car if yours is damaged in an accident. It is not required coverage in any state, but having it could mean the difference between being stuck in a strange place or moving on to your destination after your car is wrecked.
If your policy does not include this optional coverage or your insurance company does not offer them, it may be time to use an online insurance quote site to find a better insurance company. Online quotes compare rates among more than one insurance provider, giving you the opportunity to see exactly how much you could save by switching to a new company.