Jessica Sautter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Written by Jessica Sautter
Content Writer Jessica Sautter

Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around auto insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Reviewed by Natasha McLachlan
Content Writer Natasha McLachlan

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2020

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For new drivers who have yet to purchase car insurance, there are many aspects that you must understand first so you can make the best-informed decision about which type to choose. One of the more popular questions from new drivers concerns what the policy covers.

Is Insurance on the Car or the Driver?

The answer will depend on the type of car insurance that you choose. You will need to know the different types of insurance to understand if they cover the other driver, vehicle, or both.

Related: Can Someone Else Insure Your Car?

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How Insurance Coverage Works

Car Insurance Covers the Driver or Car?

Different forms of insurance cover the vehicle, driver, and passengers. Depending on the policy that you choose, the insurance will provide the appropriate coverage. Here are a few examples of different car insurance policies.

Liability & Uninsured Motorist: This is the minimum required policy for almost all states. Liability covers the other vehicle involved in the accident, including any medical bills that the driver and passengers may need up to a pre-set amount. Most liability insurance plans are divided between what they will pay to repair or replace a vehicle and what they will pay in terms of medical coverage to those in the other vehicle if you are deemed at fault for the accident.

Uninsured motorist means that if the driver that caused the accident does not have insurance, your insurance company will cover the damages to your vehicle and medical expenses. A sub-category called underinsured motorist covers the difference between what their insurance provides and what is called for in terms of your expenses from an accident.

Comprehensive: This is the insurance that covers your vehicle regardless of who is at-fault. This means that any damage to your vehicle along with any medical expenses that occur are covered by the insurance company. In addition, comprehensive provides coverage for vandalism, fire, and theft depending on the insurance company that provides the policy. You’ll need to check with your insurance company to see what is covered under comprehensive.

Collision: This is insurance that specifically covers damage incurred from a collision. This is a common form of insurance that can be combined with liability and uninsured motorist. Collision only covers an accident between two or more vehicles and does not cover the damage because of vandalism, break-ins, fire, or theft.

Other Types of Car Insurance

There are various types of specific car insurance that are often combined into the comprehensive but can be purchased separately. Such smaller types of car insurance include the following;

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Medical Expenses
  • Roadside Assistance and more

You can pick and choose the particular type of insurance you want or bundle them together into a comprehensive policy.

Car Insurance Coverage

Liability car insurance covers the other driver and their vehicle up to a pre-set amount that will be paid by your insurance company if you are the cause of the accident. Since that is the type required by virtually all states, your insurance should cover them in case you are involved in an accident. However, it will only provide the coverage in the amount you pay for under the rules of the policy.