What would you do if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident where you and the other driver both had bodily injury and property damage? If you’ve got limited liability coverage on your auto – the bare minimum in most states – your insurance will probably pay for the other motorist’s expenses, but what about yours? Even a trip to the hospital to check for concussions can run into the thousands of dollars, and that’s a pretty tame outcome from a collision.
The minimum coverage protects you from liability when the other driver sustains damages, but it doesn’t cover anything for you, your family, or your vehicle. This is why it’s always a great idea to purchase auto insurance through an independent insurance agent who can help you navigate the terms, limits, and benefits of improved coverage, and the risks if you don’t. We’re going to look at how increased coverage can protect you as you navigate the road.
The Differences in Coverage
Each state has its minimum coverage for legal driving, but that doesn’t mean you’re as protected as you should be. Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage for other people when you’re involved in a collision, but it doesn’t pay for you. So while a liability plan is usually the cheapest to pay for annually, in practice – that is, if you get into an accident – it’s going to cost you far more.
Nobody wants to get into a car accident, but you pay for insurance just in case you do. Because the medical and property repairs caused by two vehicles colliding can be incredibly costly, having more insurance reduces your risk. The types of additional coverage you would want to add to your existing policy are:
- UI or uninsured motorist coverage – this protects you when the other motorist doesn’t have the necessary insurance coverage, which, while illegal, is the case for 10%-15% of all motorists.
- UIM or underinsured motorist coverage – this type of coverage protects you when the total amount of bills from a collision is more than the other driver’s insurance will cover. Auto insurance is represented by two figures – 25/50, for example – which is the amount they’ll pay in thousands of dollars for each person injured, and the second number is the total they’ll pay per accident. If you suffer over $50,000 in damages and their limit max is $50,000, UIM insurance will help you with the rest of the bills when their insurance hits its limit.
- UMPD or uninsured motorist property damage – this coverage will pay out for repairs needed on your vehicle if the other person is uninsured or underinsured.
There are, of course, other types of coverage that are even more protective, which is why consulting with an independent agent is always worth your time before purchasing auto insurance.
Never Cut Protection Short
As drivers venture out onto the road as pandemic protocols loosen, insurance companies are offering benefits to their customers. These include deferred payment, payment plans, and refunds to premiums, and while these offerings are based on the fact that fewer people are driving right now – which should make the roads safer – the deferred payment plans can be problematic. When the bill comes due for insurance – which it would immediately in the case of an accident – their coverage might lapse if they choose not to or cannot pay. This leaves you on the hook for all the monetary damage.
Take the Time to Invest in a Consultant
Speaking with an independent insurance agent like the staff at Philleo Agency, can give you a clear view of the many coverage options available to you, beyond even what we’ve outlined here. Ron Philleo and his staff have over 50 years of combined experience insuring Brookfield and the surrounding communities. Give them a call today to set up an appointment and see how the personal experience of an independent insurance agent can dramatically improve your protection on the road.