Car Insurance 101: Car Insurance for the First-Time Driver

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Purchasing car insurance for the first-time driver can be a headache. There is a lot of information you’ll need in order to make the best decisions, so let’s start here at the beginning with Car Insurance 101.

Car Insurance 101 Infographic Describing Car Insurance Requirements for First-Time Drivers

Car Insurance 101




Car Insurance 101: Types of Coverage

The first thing you’ll need to know when purchasing car insurance for a first-time driver is what the different types of coverage are.

The most frequent types of coverage you will need are:

  • Liability
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist

Liability coverage comes in two types: bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury liability pays for the claims made against you if one or multiple people are injured or killed in an accident. There are usually separate types of bodily injury liability, one for if a single person is hurt and one for if multiple people are hurt.

The other type of liability coverage you may be required to have is property damage liability. This coverage is to pay for damage to any property belonging to someone other than you.

Personal injury protection (PIP) is coverage to help you pay for any medical expenses, lost wages, or other needs if you are injured in an accident.

These three types of coverage are the most frequently required, and you will often see them represented by three numbers. For example, in California you may see it represented as 15/30/5. This is because the required coverage in that state is $15,000 for bodily injury of one person, $30,000 for bodily injury by more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage, or 15/30/5.

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is only mandatory in a handful of states. It provides coverage for if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident or in a collision with a driver who either has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover all the damages.

There are a few other types of coverage that are available, but these are the mandatory types it’s important to know about.

Car Insurance 101 Glossary

There are a lot of terms you will need to know in order to be well-informed when purchasing car insurance, so we’ve put together a glossary which you can find below.

Next time, we’ll go over how choosing the right car can be a benefit when purchasing car insurance for the first-time driver. Want to learn more? Check out our Car Insurance Resource Center or compare free quotes from top-rated companies with Answer Financial .

Infographic of Relevant Terms for Car Insurance

Car Insurance 101 Gossary