Home Products and Programs

Coverage Overview

Auto Insurance

Driving through the summer
Photograph by Alex Chernenko

There are three main categories of coverage on the auto insurance policy. They will be discussed below in the following three sections:

  1. Liability
  2. Medical
  3. Your Vehicle


Automobile liability insurance protects a policyholder from financial loss arising from legal liability incurred when his or her vehicle causes damage to the property of others or injury to someone. The design of auto liability coverage has a single limit of liability for both bodily injury and property damage, but many carriers offer a separate limit for bodily injury and property damage.

Bodily Injury Liability

With a split liability limit, the first limit is the most the policy will pay for injuries to any one person; the second limit is the most the policy will pay for the injuries of two or more persons injured in a single accident. With a single limit of liability, the coverage limit may be applied to both bodily injury and property damage liability.

Property Damage Liability

This liability coverage part pays your legal limit of liability for the damage of property of others, subject to a maximum limit per accident.


Medical Payments

This coverage pays all necessary medical and funeral expenses incurred and services rendered to the occupants of a vehicle that is involved in an accident. It can be used when other coverages do not apply, for example if the accident was caused as a result of drunk driving and the PIP coverage is denied.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

All NY State auto policies carry a minimum of $50,000 in PIP coverage. Most policies offer the option to increase this to a higher coverage limit. It is a first-party coverage (meaning that your own policy pays for your necessary expenses) for medical, hospital, nursing, surgical, ambulance, dental, x-ray, prescription drug, and prosthetic services; psychiatric, physical, and occupational therapy and rehabilitation; and any other professional health services.

Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL)

As the name suggests, this is an optional coverage available on the personal auto policy. OBEL has a limit of $25,000 which can be applied at the discretion of the injured passengers of the vehicle as a result of an accident. In addition to covering the same category of medical costs included in the PIP section above, it can be used to cover lost wages and physical therapy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

This coverage part pays for damages that the policyholder is legally entitled to recover from a negligent owner of an uninsured/underinsured vehicle. This does not include exemplary or punitive damages. Medical expenses, lost wages, and other general damages incurred as a result of an accident caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist. This coverage does not include property damage.

Your Vehicle

Physical damage coverage is an optional coverage on the auto policy. There are two categories of loss to your vehicle that are insured separately. They are commonly referred to as "Collision" coverage and "Comprehensive" coverage, also known as "Other than Collision." There are also coverage parts offered in conjunction with physical damage coverage that are aimed at minimizing the impact of a loss.


Collision covers damage to your vehicle as a result of upset or impact of your vehicle with another vehicle or object. It is subject to a deductible.


Comprehensive coverage steps in to reduce the cost of replacement or repair of your vehicle when loss is sustained by fire, theft, vandalism, hail, deer, or many other types of damage caused by something other than a collision. This includes coverage for breakage of glass.  This coverage part has a deductible.

Full Coverage for Window Glass

Coverage for window glass on your vehicle is covered under the comprehensive section. On a personal automobile policy, this coverage may be available without a deductible. This is called "full glass" coverage. On a commercial policy, if full glass is not offered by a particular insurer, we can sometimes accomplish the same outcome by selecting a zero deductible on comprehensive.

Rental Reimbursement

This coverage will reimburse the policyholder for rental charges incurred when a covered vehicle is out of use as a result of a covered loss.


This coverage may be available for purchase in addition to physical damage coverage. It can reduce or eliminate the cost of transporting a vehicle from where it is disabled in an accident. This coverage on some policies may also cover towing for a vehicle that becomes disabled without being in an accident.

Disclaimer: Please refer to your individual policy declarations and definitions for the insurance policy in question. Glossary terms are offered as a service to the visitors of our website and are not a guarantee of coverage or claim outcome. While we do our best to provide clear and accurate coverage descriptions, your individual policy and the company and agent who provided it are the best resource for exact contractual obligations of the insurance company.

Stan Steele Insurance
Stan Steele Agency, Inc.
55 State Street
Bloomfield, NY 14469