Buying your first auto insurance policy might feel like an intimidating process. There's so much to know and so many decisions to make. If you're in this position right now and are not sure what types of coverage to get, here are some tips. If you can understand the essential parts of an auto insurance policy, you'll know how to obtain the coverage you need.

Coverage Options

There are two main types of policies to choose from with auto insurance, and here is a description of each:

  1. Liability only – The first type of coverage offers no protection for your vehicle but does provide the coverage you need to meet the state requirements. Liability covers damage to cars and people that you collide with if you're at fault.
  2. Full coverage – The second type is often called full-coverage insurance. With this coverage, you have protection for your car if you are the person who triggers a collision. It also covers you from damage that results from non-driving incidents, such as vandalism or hail damage.

Now that you know the two primary options, which do you want or need? If you have an auto loan on the vehicle, you likely won't have a choice. You must get full coverage. If you don't have an auto loan, you can choose either option.

The Deductible

The second part of a policy to think about is the deductible. A deductible is a set amount of money you are required to pay if you file a claim that your insurance company covers. You get the choice of choosing the amount for your deductible. If you have a liability-only policy, you won't have a deductible on your plan. You will only need this if you have full-coverage insurance.

The Potential for Discounts

The other essential thing to understand about car insurance is the potential for taking advantage of discounts. Discounts are a standard part of auto coverage, and most companies provide dozens of different types. Each discount you qualify for offers a small reduction in the costs of your premiums. If you aren't sure what discounts your insurance agency offers or which ones you might be eligible for, ask your car insurance agent. Agents are glad to provide information when you ask.

If you can understand these three things, you should have no trouble getting a policy that is right for you. To request a quote for coverage, call a car insurance company.