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What is an auto insurance policy?

Your car insurance policy determines your coverage and your premium. In short, it is a way to organize car insurance coverage options to meet your needs. In this article, we’ll outline some popular car insurance policy types as well as some popular policies that may not exist exactly as advertised.

Popular car insurance policy types

Below are some popular and standard car insurance policy classifications. You can purchase these policies from national and local insurance providers.

Company and state-specific policies

Below are policies often subject to state and company-specific requirements. These are not always available.

Commonly advertised policies

There are many policies that are advertised by insurance companies that don’t actually exist as marketed. Below are some policy types worth being aware of. If you're interested in these policies, follow the link to learn more about alternative options.

 

If you’re looking for other auto insurance policies, see the additional resources below!

 

Ready to shop for insurance?  See the following to get started.

 
RECENT QUESTIONS

Which part of my policy will cover my vehicle after a hit-and-run?

In Washington, uninsured motorist property damage coverage is optional on your policy so you may be able to claim that if it's included on your policy. If not, you could always claim it under you collision coverage.
Jan 30, 2017 Seattle, WA

How do I know what coverage I have on my policy?

It's important to note that there is no such thing as "full coverage" when it comes to auto insurance. People who use that term are normally referring to a policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverage, but being specific can help you avoid confusion.
Mar 27, 2017 Corvallis, OR

How much would my car insurance be to transfer to a new individual policy from my family's insurance?

It's hard to give you an accurate quote without having more information. There are a number of factors that come into play when determining your premium and each insurance company may weigh these factors differently when determining what you pay.
Aug 14, 2019 Boston, MA

I live with mom and we have an umbrella policy and a car insurance policy. I want to switch companies but mom says I can't.

When it comes to having an umbrella policy, anyone is able to purchase one. However, there are certain qualifications you are going to need in order to purchase one.
Jul 13, 2021 Danville, CA

Ava Lynch photo
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior analyst, providing insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts.

Ava’s insurance career began as an agent with Farmers Insurance. Over the years, she has become an authority in all things property and casualty insurance, helping her to write informative guides for shoppers.

Ava’s work has been cited in publications such as InvestopediaThe BalanceMoney.comLiberty Mutual, U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.