Anyone who buys a car in Maine is required to purchase auto insurance. Drivers must have proof of insurance whenever they are on the road or they risk being fined and having their driving privileges suspended. There are a few different types of insurance coverage, and drivers need to know the differences between them. Maine law requires Liability, Medical Payments, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage to drive in the state. Here are explanations about these types of insurance and a few others that are important. 

Liability insurance pays toward damages when a car owner is responsible for an automobile accident. These damages could be physical injuries that require medical attention or property damage to the vehicles involved in a crash. 

Medical Payments coverage covers medical expenses incurred by the vehicle owner and passengers in their car. 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) protects the vehicle owner and passengers if another driver is responsible for the accident and has insufficient insurance. 

Sometimes an automobile can be damaged even though it was not in an accident, such as damages from fire, theft, hail, or contact with an animal. Comprehensive insurance covers these and other types of property damage that are not the result of a collision.  

Collision insurance covers damage to a car owner’s vehicle from hitting another vehicle or object, or from the car flipping over.  

Gap insurance helps pay off an auto loan if a car is damaged beyond repair and the amount remaining on loan is more than the car’s value. Without Gap insurance, the insurance company will pay up to the vehicle’s value, and the borrower must immediately pay the rest, out of pocket, to finish the loan. Gap insurance takes care of the remaining balance, after the insurance agency pays. This type of insurance can be purchased from an insurance agent or a lending financial institution. 

Maine law requires that every vehicle owner carry a minimum amount of insurance. However, drivers typically need more than the minimum amount to protect them from vehicle damage or bodily injury costs. Sometimes paying more for better protection makes sense. Medical bills for serious injuries or extensive auto body work can be costly, and drivers may need more than the required minimum amount of insurance to cover everything. 

When purchasing insurance, another choice is between a high and a low deductible. If there is an insurance claim, a deductible is the amount a car owner must pay before the insurance company starts paying for repairs or medical bills. Plans with lower deductibles usually cost more per month. A higher-deductible plan typically has lower monthly rates, but the cost will be higher for the vehicle owner if they need to file an insurance claim. 

There are many choices for auto insurance, and shopping around and speaking with multiple agents or companies may be a smart idea. A good auto insurance agent will take the time to help someone find the right insurance that fits their individual needs. Owning a car is a beautiful thing for many reasons. Good insurance will make drivers feel confident that they are protected if an unfortunate accident happens.