If you own your own car, you probably already know a little about car insurance. You may have heard the words deductible or premium. But, do you truly understand the different parts of an auto insurance policy and do you know how to choose the best coverage?

Forty-seven states require that you have at least some kind of car insurance, so it's a good idea to know what the law requires you to have and what additional or optional coverage will help to protect you in the event of an accident.

Before purchasing auto insurance, you must consider a variety of factors including what kind of car you have, your driving record and the amount of money you are willing to pay. Understanding the simple basics of auto insurance will make you confident that the car insurance policy you choose will take care of your needs in the event of an accident.

In this article, we will walk you through the types of coverage that insurance companies offer and discuss possible insurance needs. Additionally we will look at what affects the price of auto insurance, how to bring the costs down and how to understand the components of your policy.

We'll start with the different types of coverage you can choose from on the next page.