(US law and general information) If you don’t have adequate auto insurance coverage, you could be putting yourself and all your assets at risk. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don’t understand the value of auto insurance. Worse still, the vast majority of people don’t want to pay for it. Most people also don’t think they need so much insurance coverage for their car because they erroneously think that causing a catastrophic car accident won’t happen to them. The fact is it can happen.
Imagine that you’re on a long road trip with your family. Hypnotized by the road, you fall asleep at the wheel. Suddenly, you wake up and see a pair of headlights coming toward you. Not having enough time to respond, you collide with the other driver. You and your family escaped with no injury, but the driver and passengers in the other car weren’t as fortunate. One of them died and the other three passengers sustained life-changing injuries.
No doubt the accident was your fault because of your negligence. To make matters worse, your limits of liability are the minimum your state requires, which is not nearly enough to cover the death that you caused, let alone the major injuries that the other three passengers sustained.
Your insurance policy won’t cover the majority of the costs. Chances are you will be sued. They will call one of those personal injury lawyers on television to go after you and your insurance company. One innocent mistake can easily translate into a costly roadblock in your life’s path. There goes your house and your vacation property, along with most of your other assets. What do you do now?
Granted, this is an extreme example and most people won’t cause fatality accidents, but even a minor accident can result in costly medical bills. A broken leg is enough to break anyone’s bank. That broken leg requires so much medical attention – and money to repair. Sometimes they may require after care and physical therapy. It’s important to be prepared.
How much auto insurance coverage do you really need? You need to purchase enough bodily injury and uninsured motorist coverage. You should have $250,000 per individual and $500,000 per collision in this coverage. You also need to purchase property damage coverage. Some states require as little as $5,000, but it is recommended you have at least $100,000 in property damage coverage.
The amount of auto insurance that you carry really depends on your assets. If you own a business or property, you’re personal liability increases. The same holds true if you have children because you are legally responsible for them and all their actions until they reach the age of 18.
Be sure to contact an insurance agent to properly determine your auto insurance needs. A minor change in your auto insurance policy can save you a lifetime of pain – and punitive damages.
Cindy Santos is a media relations specialists with Accident Attorneys’ Group.