Do you have enough coverage on your auto insurance policy?
One of the most common questions I receive is whether someone has enough automobile insurance. It is a valid question and one everyone should be asking their insurance agent.
In a world of auto insurance advertisements where the lowest premium is the selling point, ensuring you have the proper amount of insurance can often be overlooked. When shopping for automobile insurance, determine the coverage limits want and need first, and then begin comparing company quotes.
We start off with the most important coverages on your insurance policy – liability insurance.
- Bodily Injury – Vehicles may be safer today than in years past, but injuries can still rack up massive medical bills. Bodily injury pays for the injuries to others resulting from an accident you caused. Most states require a minimal amount of bodily injury coverage, usually $25,000 per person and $50,00 per accident. However, serious injuries can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and without sufficient limits, your personal assets such as your savings, home, and other property may be at risk.
- Property Damage Liability – If you cause damage to another vehicle or other property, you will be responsible for repairs or replacement. Rear end a luxury vehicle and the bill could be in the thousands of dollars, again exposing your personal assets if you lack enough coverage.
While it is important to make sure you protect your assets from lawsuits resulting from the bodily injury or property damage to others, there are certain coverages you should review that will protect you and your family.
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist – We mentioned before the minimum bodily injury limit can be extremely low. What if was you who was injured, incurred large medical expenses, and the other driver had low limits? You could file a lawsuit, but that could take months or years to resolve. The better solution is to purchase Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage where your policy will pick up the bill where the other driver’s left off.
- Comprehensive and Collision – You likely paid a handsome sum of money for your vehicle. Comprehensive and collision coverage will repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen, damaged by acts of God, or wrecked by another driver. If you are unable to repair or replace your vehicle out of pocket, this coverage is likely your best solution.
We’ve discussed the four “big” automobile insurance coverages. There are a few other coverages that, although not as significant as those above, could provide the financial indemnity you need when you need it most.
Loan / Lease Gap – If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle and a total loss occurs, the amount of your outstanding balance may exceed the value of the vehicle. Loan and lease gap coverage will pay for this difference.
Med Pay – If you or one of your passengers is injured while you were driving, medical payments (or “med pay”) can provide money to cover reasonable medical expenses up to a predetermined limit of coverage.
Personal Injury Protection – 22 states require personal injury protection, also known as “no fault insurance”. This coverage usually provides you up to $10,000 for medical, therapeutic, lost wages, funeral costs, and other expenses related to an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Determining whether or not you have enough automobile insurance has many determining factors. Reviewing your insurance needs with a licensed insurance agent can help provide you the peace of mind knowing you have your bases covered.