Car insurance advertisements are constant, and can even be a bit overwhelming. We can all probably name about five or six auto insurance companies just off the tops of our heads, based solely on how saturated the advertising environment is with their images and commercials. It turns out that the actual process can sometimes wind up being no less overwhelming. There are lots of confusing options, many of which feature unclear language that might not actually bring you any closer to a real understanding of what it is you are or aren’t paying for.

We’ll talk about a few important things to consider when you’re shopping around for your car insurance, so you can cut through any unnecessary red tape and get right to the decision that’s best for you and your family.

The first thing to know is what your state requires of you. Typically, a state will require that you be insured for up to four thousand dollars per accident. Some states require a higher amount, but there are plenty of resources online to help you figure out what your specific state requires in terms of accident coverage. Once you’ve got that all figured out, you can go ahead and decide exactly what type of coverage is best for you.

Three main types of car insurance coverage exist, and depending on things like your financial situation, what you use your car for, how much you use it, and where it spends its days and nights you’ll want to pick the one that best suits your needs.

Liability coverage is pretty basic, and will cover you when you’re at fault in an accident. This will make sure you’re taken care of if there’s any bodily injury or property damage, as well. If it’s not your fault, then your insurance won’t pay for it when you go with liability insurance. It can wind up being an affordable option because you’ll only pay for something if you were the one responsible for damaging it in the first place.

Collision coverage will cover you more thoroughly if you weren’t at fault — your car will be repaired on the insurance provider’s dime, but you’ve got to make sure that you get their explicit approval on your choice of auto repair shop. If you get this taken care of without consulting your insurance provider, you might wind up in a situation where they refuse to pay for the repairs.

If you can really afford to go for the gusto, then comprehensive insurance is the best bet. Not only will this protect you from injury and accident costs, but it will also cover you in the event of things out of your control, as well. If you car gets stolen, vandalized, or damaged by some kind of crazy natural disaster, comprehensive coverage will cover you.

Numerous car insurance options exist, and which one you chose depends on the level of risk that your car experiences on a day to day basis. Tons of providers will offer you cheap insurance online, but as a driver you need to make sure your needs are met. Think about how you use your car and where it spends the majority of its time, and you’ll have no trouble at all finding the policy and coverage that are perfect for you and your specific driving habits.