What is Car Insurance?

Cars were first invented in the 1890's , and it wasn't long before someone, somewhere, was in a car accident. In fact, the first "fender bender" happened before fenders were a thing.

But just because the roads are paved, and not shared with horses, doesn't mean car accidents are a thing of the past!

Today, cars are faster, stronger and safer than ever before. They're also more plentiful! We don't want to worry you, but there's something about car accidents you should know. Your chances of being involved in one, at least, are actually pretty high.

Insurance: Because Everyone Else on the Road is Crazy!

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , a person will have an average of one accident every 17 years. If you start driving at 16, that means you'll likely have at least one accident involving your car by the time you're 35!

Fortunately, while car accidents are never safe, they are safer. Unlike the 1890s, we have seatbelts, air bags, cameras, sensors and more.

So, while you're likely to walk away from a car accident, you're still likely to be in one. And car accidents are expensive. This is where car insurance comes in.

Do You Even Need Car Insurance?

Most people understand the basics behind car insurance. You purchase a certain type of coverage from the insurance company.

Car insurance is a deal between you and a car insurance provider. Each month, you make a payment. Then… you wait.

Well, kinda. For the most part, insurance payments are something you probably pay each month with reluctance. After all, you're not having a car accident each month – or even each year.

But the odds aren't in your favor. Sooner or later, you'll be involved in some type of car accident. When that happens, you'll file a claim with your insurance company. In return, they'll cover the cost of damages, injury and other loss.

The 4 Types of Car Insurance

The specifics of coverage can vary widely depending on the type of policy you buy. Here's what you need to know:

Liability Insurance – Because You Gotta

This is the legal minimum required in practically every state. When you're liable for something, you're legally responsible for it. In this case, you're liable for any damage you cause to other cars, drivers or property while on the road.

If you hit something, the other party's damages are paid with your liability insurance. This is why liability insurance is legally required.

Personal Injury Protection – Medical Minded

Drivers of the first cars had to wear goggles and just accept bugs in their teeth by the end of their trip. Thankfully, cars have become a lot safer since then. But any accident, even a minor one, still carries the risk of injury.

Unfortunately, injuries mean medical bills. Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is an extension of auto insurance which covers medical costs.

This includes treatment for injuries to both you and everyone in your car. Aside from your immediate injuries, you can also get coverage for longer-term issues such as rehab, lost wages and so on.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Are They Just Handing These Licenses Out or What?

You're a good person. You're here, reading about the different types of car insurance, with the intention of finding the coverage which is right for you.

Not everyone is like you, unfortunately. According to a report in USA Today , one out of every seven drivers on the road don't have insurance!

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by – you guessed it—uninsured drivers. Depending on where you live and what type of coverage you have, uninsured motorist coverage can cover your medical bills and/or damage to your car.

Full Coverage – Look Out Below!

Also called Physical Damage Coverage, this covers physical damage to your car. This is the Big Problem type of insurance designed to protect you from theft, fire, a piano falling from the sky and other calamities.

This type of insurance will vary by geographic area. If you live near a coast, you might want protection against hurricane damage. Somewhere colder? Might want to protect against possible hail damage. You get the idea.

Life is Full of Risks… So Why Bother With Insurance?

Hey, you could be walking down the street and be hit by a piano falling out of the sky – so why even bother with insurance?

Well, first, having some type of car insurance is a legal requirement in practically every state. So that's a pretty good reason right there. If you get pulled over for something minor and don't have proof of car insurance, you'll be in some trouble. And if you cause an accident without being properly insured, you'll be in a lot of trouble.

Car insurance also makes a lot of economic sense, too. Statistics show you'll likely have at least one car accident in your life. Unfortunately, you can't completely eliminate risk. With the right type of car insurance, you can mitigate that risk.

Sometimes paying your car insurance bill can seem like a total waste of money. After all, you're a safe driver. But just once wrong turn – literally! – can wreck your car or cause an injury to you or someone else.

Car insurance provides security financial and otherwise when you need it most. So isn't time you started looking for the best deal?

Finding the right type of car insurance is easy when you use a professional insurance database like Chimp Quote . You can input your specific situation and quickly find the best quotes from hundreds of the nation's top car insurers.

Cars have come a long way since their safety-free beginnings. Car insurance is absolutely the right move – and you don't even have to get any bugs in your teeth!