AARP provides the main types of auto insurance you need for sufficient protection.
Motor vehicle liability insurance
Liability insurance pays for injuries to others and property damage if you cause an accident. If you are sued, it also pays for your legal defense and all settlements and judgments, up to the limit of your policy. There are minimum liability insurance requirements in most states, but you can purchase more.
Collision and full coverage
Collision and comprehensive insurance are optional. Comprehensive insurance pays to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged by vandalism, falling objects, hail, fire, flooding, or animal strikes, like hitting a deer. It also covers theft.
Collision insurance pays for repairs to your vehicle 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 Coverage and Collision Coverage pay up to the actual cash value of your car and have a deductible that is subtracted from your claim check.
Medical expenses insurance reimburses medical expenses if you, a member of your family or a passenger in your vehicle are injured in a collision. It can cover ambulance costs, emergency room treatment, hospitalization, surgery, x-rays and rehabilitation, up to the policy limit.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance pays for your medical expenses if you have an accident with a driver who is uninsured or does not have enough coverage to pay for all of your losses. These covers also extend to family members and passengers traveling in your car at the time of the accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is mandatory in some states and optional in others.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP insurance is generally required in no-fault states and optional in others. It pays for your medical expenses after an accident, regardless of which driver caused the accident.