What is Automobile Insurance?

Personal automobile insurance is mandated by most states and provides you with some financial protection in case of an accident.

Automobile Insurance - Basics

Your Automobile Insurance policy is a Contract that exists between you and the insurance company that protects you against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft.

Your Automobile insurance policy can only remain in force through you paying your insurance premium to the insurance company which in return agrees to pay for your losses as outlined by the automobile insurance policy.


Your BASIC Automobile Insurance provides coverage for:

  • Property - Such as damage to your car or theft from your vehicle. (See Also P&C Insurance)
  • Liability - Your legal responsibility to others for property damage or (potentially) bodily injury. (See Also P&C Insurance)
  • Medical - Costs related to injuries, rehabilitation, and even sometimes lost wages of people injured.

Additional or Add-On Coverages

You often can add "add-on" coverages for:

  • Towing - The costs for towing a damaged vehicle from the accident to a repair facility.
  • Rental - Rental reimbursement during the time your vehicle is being repaired.
  • ADD - Additional Accidental Death or Dismemberment coverage for expenses related to death or loss of certain bodily functions.
  • Glass - Provides coverage from windshield damage. Some automobile policies automatically include no-deductible glass coverage.
  • Comprehensive - provides coverage against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, such as fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees and other hazards.
  • Collision - reimburses you for damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or other object - for example: a tree, sign, or guardrail - when you are at fault.
  • Gap - Comprehensive and Collision only cover the market value of your car, not what you paid for it - and since newer cars depreciate quickly if your car is totaled or stolen, there may be a 'gap' between what you owe on the vehicle and your insurance coverage. Gap insurance helps cover the difference in loan value vs market value.

Personal automobile insurance is mandated by most U.S. states, and laws vary. Automobile insurance coverages are priced individually to let you customize coverage amounts and even exclude certain coverages that might not be required in your state to suit your exact needs and budget.

Automobile policies are generally issued for six-month or one-year timeframes and are renewable.

Insurance premiums can be collected in-full, or via payment plans - often monthly or every 6-months depending on the insurance company. The Mercury Policy and Claims Processing system come with a full billing system allowing virtually unlimited billing plans and options based on any rules the insurance company requires.

Who is covered by my Automobile Insurance

Typically your automobile insurance policy will cover you and family members that reside at the same location as long as tehy have not been specifically excluded from coverage AND you have disclosed all drivers. In addition, many policies will cover you driving someone elses vehicle with their permission. Finally, your policy may cover someone else driving your vehicle as long as they had your permission to use the vehicle as well.

Your personal automobile policy will cover you commuting to work, running errands, or even taking a vacation. However it will not provide coverage if you use the vehicle for commercial purposes - for instance ride sharing, or deliveries.

Note:There are supplemental insurance products that some insurance companies are now offering that you can purchase to extend coverage for ride sharing (IE: Uber or Lyft). Of course these products are for an additional cost to your personal automobile insurance premium.


Return to the Basic Insurance Information Screen.


The Mercury Policy and Claims Processing System was built from the ground up to Quote, Rate, Underwrite, Bind, Issue, Maintain, and Process Claims for all kinds of Property and Casualty insurance.

Check out our website to learn more about the system and what it can do for you as an Insurance Company, Managing General Agency, or Third Party Administrator.

P&C Insurance System Overlay