Let’s Be Responsible
Car insurance is typically broken down into several coverages. We’ll explore those below.
Liability is one of those coverages and all states require drivers to carry liability car insurance at a minimum. There are further coverages you can add to your car insurance to cover things like your medical costs, theft, rental cars, and lost income.
Covers everyone BUT you and your passengers.
Every state requires drivers to have auto liability insurance. Liability insurance covers medical costs for personal injuries and costs to repair damage to others’ property in the event that you cause an accident.
Note that liability car insurance doesn’t cover your own medical expenses or car repairs.
Every state has different requirements for exactly what amount of liability coverage drivers must carry. In Mississippi, drivers are required by law to carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage per person (in a single accident), $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. What does all that actually mean? Here’s a plain-English breakdown of Mississippi liability insurance requirements.
By the way, in Mississippi you can present proof of liability insurance to law enforcement in either printed form (like the paper cards your insurer provides) or in electronic form including a mobile phone image or via your insurer’s mobile app.
Covers repairs to your car.
Collision coverage, which isn’t required by law, but is definitely worth having, covers costs if your car is damaged or destroyed in an accident. Can you cover the cost to replace or make significant repairs to your car out-of-pocket? That’s what collision coverage is for.
Covers things like theft, weather damage, and stuff inside your car.
Insurance companies technically refer to comprehensive auto coverage as “other than collision.” That’s because it covers costs for things like theft, hail damage, flooding, and other non-collision loss or damage. Bad things that can happen when you’re not driving your car.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Covers you in case someone else has no insurance or doesn’t have enough.
Covers you if the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance of their own or if they don’t have enough to cover the cost of your repairs. There’s an accident. You’re not at-fault, but the other guy’s insurance can’t cover all your repair or medical costs.
You’d be surprised at how often liability coverages can’t totally cover everything. This is where your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage kicks in.
What about medical costs?
This is how some of YOUR costs are covered. Liability coverage only covers others’ costs when you cause an accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Covers YOUR medical costs.
Personal injury protection covers medical costs and more for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
It covers the usual medical expenses such as ambulance transportation and hospitalization, but also can cover things like physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation, psychiatric costs, and more which medical pay (see below) may not cover.
Also unlike med pay, PIP can cover lost wages if you can’t work due to injuries, as well as other non-medical or work-related losses like funeral expenses and death benefits, household costs, and childcare costs.
Medical Payments (Med Pay)
Also covers YOUR medical costs, but not as broadly as PIP.
Medical payment coverage is like personal injury protection, but doesn’t cover as much. It also pays for injuries to you and others in your car in the event of an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Med pay covers the basics like ambulance transportation, x-rays, hospitalization, prosthetics, and funeral expenses.
What else is there?
Pays a certain amount per day for a replacement vehicle, such as a rental, if yours is being repaired.
Towing & Roadside Assistance
This is one of those things that doesn’t really seem necessary to a lot of folks. That is, until you’re on that late-night road trip and lock your keys in your car at that shady gas station you just had to stop at for more ranch flavored Corn Nuts. Was that a coyote howl in the distance?
For a relatively small investment, adding Towing & Roadside Assistance coverage to your auto insurance policy can be a pretty big deal if you find yourself suddenly stranded by a mechanical failure, out of gas, or locked out.
In addition to the obvious towing coverage in case your car needs to be towed to a repair facility, roadside assistance can cover things like tire changes, replacing lost keys, jump-starts, and pulling your stuck car out of mud or snow.
Get in touch with us and we can help you figure out exactly what you’ll need.