Auto Insurance, Why You Should Carry More than the Minimum

February 07, 2020


Auto Insurance, Why You Should Carry More than the Minimum

Most states require the registered owners of a vehicle to carry at least the state minimum in liability coverage. While it’s good that the states make this a requirement otherwise, we would have more uninsured cars on the road; the state minimum may not always be enough.   To understand why you need more, you first must understand what these limits represent.

Understanding Auto Liability Limits

There are two kinds of auto liability coverage that drivers must carry: the first is bodily injury liability coverage and the second is property damage liability coverage. These limits represent what the insurance company will pay out if you cause an accident, liability coverage helps pay for the other person’s costs associated with the crash.

Bodily injury- If you cause an accident that injures another person, bodily injury liability coverage helps pay for their medical expenses.

Property damage -If you are in an at-fault accident that damages someone else’s property like their car, property damage liability coverage helps pay for repairs.

The amount your insurance company will pay for a covered liability insurance claim is dependent on the coverage limits you choose when taking out the policy. On your car insurance policy, you may see three liability coverage limits:

Bodily injury liability limit per person. This is the max your insurance company will pay per injured person.

Bodily injury liability limit per accident. This is the max your insurance company will pay for injuries per accident.

Property damage liability limit. This is the max your insurance company will pay for the damaged property per accident.

Why You Should Consider Increasing Your Limits

Let’s say you are the cause of a crash that injured three people in another vehicle. Your liability limits on your policy are as follows, bodily injury per person is $50,000, and your bodily injury per accident is $100,000. If injured driver 1’s medical bills total $40,000, injured driver 2’s cost $30,000 and injured driver 3’s cost $25,000, most likely you’re covered since each injured driver’s bills were under $50,000 (the bodily injury limit per person on your policy), and the total cost of injuries is $95,000, which is less than the $100,000 bodily injury limit for a single accident. However, and this is important to remember that any costs that exceed your liability coverage limits are your responsibility. Meaning that you’d have to pay them out of your own pocket. That’s why you may want to consider increasing your auto liability limits above the state’s minimum requirements by purchasing additional coverage.

What’s Not Covered by Liability Insurance

When shopping for auto insurance, it’s important to know that liability insurance does not cover your vehicle in an at-fault accident. To have coverage to repair your car, you will need coverage’s like comprehensive and collision.  Comprehensive or comp provides coverage if your vehicle is damaged from something like hail or theft while collision covers your

if you were to run into a tree or if you are in an at-fault accident. Other coverage’s that you should consider adding include:

Medical Payments– provides coverage for your injuries you sustain in an at-fault accident

Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage- These are the coverage’s that will protect you and your car if the other driver that causes an accident does not have the enough limits to cover the expenses from the damage.

When comparing auto insurance quotes make sure that you are quoting “apples to apples.”  Quoting new policies with coverage’s like those you already have is the best way to get a true cost comparison.


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