AARP provides the core types of car insurance you need for sufficient protection.
Liability car insurance
Liability insurance pays for others’ injuries and property damage if you cause an accident. If you get sued, it also pays for your legal defense and any settlements and judgments, up to your policy limit. There are minimum liability insurance requirements in most states, but you can buy more.
Collision and comprehensive coverage
Collision and comprehensive coverage insurance are optional. Comprehensive pays to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged by vandalism, falling objects, hail, fire, flooding or animal strikes, such as hitting a deer. It also covers theft.
Collision insurance pays for your vehicle’s repairs after an accident, regardless of fault. It also covers damage to your car if you hit an object, such as a pole, tree or fence. Comprehensive and collision coverage both pay out up to the actual cash value of your car and carry a deductible that is subtracted from your claim check.
Medical payments insurance reimburses medical expenses if you, a family member or a passenger in your vehicle gets injured in a collision. It can cover costs for an ambulance ride, emergency room care, hospitalization, surgery, X-rays and rehabilitation, up to the policy limit.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for your medical bills if you get into an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your losses in full. These coverages also extend to family members and passengers riding in your car at the time of the crash. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is required in some states and is optional in others.
Personal injury protection (PIP)
PIP insurance is typically required in no-fault states and optional in others. It pays for your medical expenses after an accident, regardless of which driver caused the crash.