There is nothing more valuable than the lives of you and your children. Have you stopped to consider what would happen if you were involved in a car accident and you or your child sustained life threatening injuries or injuries that required ongoing care? We try not to think about the unpleasant possibilities but the reality is that such situations do occur. Medical bills, apart from the cost or repairing or replacing your car can be astronomical.
The best way to protect yourself and your most precious cargo is to make sure you have the right type of coverage and the right levels of insurance coverage. Most states require you to have auto insurance but they only require you to have minimal liability coverage. This type of coverage only pays for damage you do to someone else’s vehicle or other people not in your car.
Understanding what types of coverage are available and what they cover is crucial to ensuring you purchase the coverage you are expecting. Auto insurance has six different coverages.
Bodily Injury Liability
This coverage pays the medical and other expenses of people injured or killed in an accident you (the driver) cause. This is a required coverage in most states. The minimum coverage requirement is generally $15,000 for any single person and not more than $30,000 for all persons involved in the accident. In general, if you own your own home, have stock or other portfolio assets, and a decent income you should consider bodily injury insurance of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident. If you have more than $300,000 in assets then discuss the possibility of an umbrella policy with your insurance agent.
Propery Damage Liability
This coverage pays for the damage your car causes to property. Usually, that is the other car or cars involved in the accident, but it also covers damage you do to any other objects you hit.
With the increasing cost of cars, the old maximum of $25,000 is no longer adequate. With very expensive cars on the road the minimum property damage coverage should probably be $50,000 and $75,000 to $100,000 is probably a much safer level of property damage liability.
This coverage pays for damage to your car when you hit another vehicle, or other objects when it is your fault. The higher the deductible you can pay, the lower the premium payment will be.
Comprehensive covers any damage to your car that results from something other than a collision with another vehicle. This includes coverage for vandalism and theft as well as events like trees or objects being blown into or falling on your car.
Medical payments coverage pays for medical and even funeral expenses for you, your family or anyone else that is a passenger in your car if it is involved in a collision. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident. This coverage also covers you as a pedestrian, if a vehicle hits you.
Generally, this coverage is not as comprehensive as most health insurance plans, but because this coverage is inexpensive is a good supplemental coverage to carry.
This form of coverage pays for injuries to you, if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. Some policies also cover damage to your car. This coverage also provides coverage for any injuries you sustain if you are walking, or riding a bicycle by a driver with inadequate, or no insurance.
Determining the right mix and level of coverages to make certain your family is protected can be a confusing and overwhelming task. It is a good idea to discuss your insurance needs and concerns with a professional insurance agent who can help you sort out the right mix of coverages as well as the right limits. They can also help you find the best premium rates for the insurance coverage you need.
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