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So let’s say you’re lucky enough not to live check-to-check. You have a bit of savings, not enough to buy a beachfront manse in Monte Carlo, but something. Nevertheless, you monitor your budget vigilantly and don’t ever like to spend more than you have to. You scrutinize the restaurant bill every time, pointing out small mistakes with self-satisfied alacrity. You tell yourself you’re frugal. But your friends know you’re just cheap.

Cheap people don’t want to be irresponsible and put their family and/or finances in jeopardy (at least not openly), but they do ask themselves: What is the most basic car insurance I really need?

The short answer is: comprehensive and collision insurance should be enough for the cheap person. Yes, there are a host of other add-ons available -- Personal Injury Protection, Med Pay, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, Auto Repair Insurance, and so forth -- but a combination of comprehensive and collision insurance is pretty standard (and, more often, mandatory in your state) if you're paying off a loan on your car.

If you own the car outright just only need liability only car insurance, which pays for the bodily injury and property damage your car does to the other parties involved in an at-fault accident. If you want to risk uncovered injury to the passengers in your car, well, you have every right to do so, dear cheap person.

Of course all this savings might not be savings at all. If you skimp now you could end up paying much, much more later in the case of serious damages. But all of us who know really cheap people know this isn’t how really cheap people think.

So they’re you have it thrifty people of America. All sub-sets of insurance are nice-to-haves compared with comprehensive and collision insurance if you’re paying off a car loan, and Liability coverage if you already own your car fully.

Good luck! Happy savings!

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