Is Minimum Coverage Auto Insurance Enough For You?
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Minimum coverage auto insurance is defined as the minimum amount of personal injury, property protection, bodily injury, and property damage liability coverage that is required by your state. As you may or may not already know, each state has a minimum requirement for liability coverage for insured drivers as a way to protect victims in car accidents and ensure that their medical and car repair costs are taken care of. As opposed to full coverage car insurance, minimum coverage is comparatively cheaper. It is often known as “bare bones”, “bare minimum”, or “basic coverage”, because of its low limits of coverage it provides.
The problem is, many drivers involved in accidents are getting frustrated when the other driver carries only the minimum amount of coverage and it isn’t enough to pay for damages.
While states reassess the minimum requirements every few years and adjust for inflation, many drivers are discovering that they aren’t truly keeping up with changing times and rising car repair costs. While drivers are free to purchase more than the minimum of liability coverage, many do not, as a way to save money. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk if they are found at fault in a car accident and their liability coverage isn’t sufficient to pay all bills.
Drivers in various states are finding themselves in a difficult situation when their expenses mount up and the other driver can’t pay for them. The victims of car collisions may find themselves without operating vehicles and with no way to pay for repairs or a new car. Drivers who were at fault for an accident may be sued for the cost over and above what their car insurance will pay for, and this often causes bankruptcy.
What To Do If You Are Involved In An Accident
The best thing to do to avoid getting into a sticky situation if you are in a car accident is to carry more than the minimum liability coverage your state requires. Go mid-range, with at least $50,000 to $100,000 in coverage per person for bodily injury and the same for property damage liability.
This, of course, helps anyone you may hit, but doesn’t help you if someone else hits you and you have those expenses. Consider adding on uninsured or underinsured coverage to help subsidize whatever the other driver can’t cover in the event of an accident.
If you have good medical coverage, this may pay for your medical bills if the other party can’t cover them. Check with your health insurance company to see what is covered and what is not.
And talk to your auto insurance company. It’s important for you to understand what would happen to you if you were the victim of an accident with a driver who did not carry sufficient coverage for your medical and repair costs. Your insurance agent may have some recommendations on additional coverage options that can better protect you in this situation.
Are Your Assets Protected?
Know, too, that if your car insurance policy isn’t enough to pay for another driver’s expenses, you may be sued, and if you don’t have the cash to pay for the additional expenses, your assets may be taken. If you have a house, vehicles or other high dollar assets, the best way to protect them from being taken is to get liability coverage equal to or greater than your assets. In this way, your auto insurance will cover the medical and repair expenses, and your assets will be safe.
As you can see, carrying minimum coverage auto insurance, or even being on the road with people that have less-than-optimal coverage comes with risk. Are you prepared to face the consequences of not having enough coverage? If the answer if no, you might want to consider equipping yourself with a more comprehensive policy!