You know you need auto insurance. In fact, it's illegal to drive without it. And once you start shopping around for an insurance policy, you may be surprised to learn that there are a number of different types of car coverage, policies, provisions, and more. With all the options available, it's easy to get confused about the kind of coverage you need and have.

Luckily, we worked hard to clear things up for you. We want you to understand the wide world of auto insurance and how to ensure you have the right amount of coverage for your needs.

So, here are four of our top car insurance tips to ensure that you're fully covered.

What Are You Willing to Risk?

Accidents happen—it's just a part of the human experience. You could be at-fault when driving your car or another driver may cause the wreck, but, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. What does matter is understanding auto insurance coverage and your risks (but in case you ever find yourself in that situation, find out what are The First Steps You Need to Take After Wrecking Your Car).

If you only have minimum coverage or liability insurance, then you could risk being left without a vehicle for quite some time after an accident that was your fault. These types of coverage rarely cover your car after an accident if you're the one at fault. They only cover your liability.

So, when you're considering various coverage options, ask yourself how long you could last without your ride.

Collision Is Key

Unless you drive an older make and model, then investing in collision coverage is a good (and sometimes great) idea. This type of policy will not only cover you with enough liability protection, but it will also pay for damages to your ride after a collision with another car or object.

Flipping and pothole damages are also typically covered.

Comprehensive Coverage Could Be Worth It

Many motorists opt out of full coverage. And there's a good reason for that: insurance premiums and rates for comprehensive coverage can get pretty pricey. We get that. It's worth giving these policies serious consideration, however, since the protection found in a comprehensive policy is significantly more than just the liability coverage.

Comprehensive car insurance covers you just like collision does, so you'll be protected in case of an accident. But there's a lot more to comprehensive coverage and it will cover you for losses from damages that don't result from a collision. Examples include:

  • Theft
  • Flood
  • Hail
  • Riot
  • Vandalism
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Falling Object
  • Earthquake

…And more!

Take Things to the Next Level

Comprehensive offers a lot of protection for your ride and peace of mind. But there is still another level of car insurance. You can get even more coverage and keep your family and assets even safer with uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Underinsured motorist coverage is required in 19 states, but you can purchase it in all of them. The coverage protects you after your car is hit by a motorist who doesn't have enough insurance to cover the damage or there is a hit-and-run.

You'll want to get at least the same amount of coverage for uninsured insurance as you have in liability coverage (to find out how much liability coverage you should get, see Auto Liability Insurance - How Much Is Enough?).

If you're looking for the most complete coverage, combining a comprehensive policy with uninsured coverage should do the trick.

Get the Coverage You Need

The level of coverage you need depends on the type, model, and age of the car you drive, along with your driving record and other factors. It's important to remember that there's no perfect coverage for everyone but being aware of the different levels of protection available will help you find the most suitable policy (if you still need more information and advice, consult The Ultimate Guide to Auto Insurance).

Safe driving!