Some people believe that auto insurance is just a commodity. It isn’t.
You’re driving your car. You lose concentration and go through an intersection, not seeing that the light has turned red. It could happen to anybody. Unfortunately, as you go through the intersection, you hit another car that is proceeding across your path because the light for this vehicle is green.
You broadside the other car. Later, you find out that the driver (or passenger) who has been seriously hurt, is a neurosurgeon who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Now, because of the accident, they will be unable to earn that living.
They’ve suffered an economic loss and will probably endure pain and suffering because of their injuries, the recovery period and the inability to work, so they sue you.
How much can they get from you? Everything you have!
With auto insurance, you are not only protecting yourself in case of an accident, but also your financial well-being in the future and the choices you make could affect you for the rest of your life. In fact, almost every week you can read about tragic accidents in the news, accidents that cause millions of dollars in damage and liability. Protect yourself by purchasing adequate auto insurance.
There are 6 components to auto insurance resulting in many different levels of coverage for you:
- Bodily Injury Liability
It pays the medical and other expenses of people injured in an accident you cause. This is required by most states.
- Property Damage Liability
It covers the damage your car causes to property, usually the other car or cars involved in the accident but also any objects you may hit (fenceposts, garages, buildings…). This is also required in most states.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
This pays for injuries to you if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance.
- Medical Payments / Personal Injury Protection
This coverage pays medical, and even funeral, expenses for you and members of your family and passengers in your car if it is involved in a collision, regardless of who caused the accident. It also covers you as a pedestrian if you are hit by a vehicle.
It covers the damage done to your car when it collides with another car or an object.
This covers damage to your car that results from something other than a collision, for example damage caused by vandals or a hailstorm, fire, theft,flood or falling objects.
- Other Miscellaneous Coverage
Remember that sometimes “you get what you pay for”. The cheapest option might not provide you or your family with the best protection. The saying goes “you don’t need insurance until you have a claim.” When you do have a claim, something that goes wrong, that’s a terrible time to discover that you don’t have adequate protection.
The minimum amount of insurance required by most states is not much. If you buy just the minimum coverage required by law, you are leaving your assets at considerable risk. Your car, obviously, but if you are at fault in an accident that causes serious injuries, it could also be your home, your property, or even your pension.