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Traffic accident scenarios are common, from fender-benders to highway crashes. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, over 10 million accidents occur on U.S. streets each year. The key is to be prepared so that the costs involved in recovering from an accident are not devastating to your finances.
SUNUP insurance agents handle the concerns of drivers every day, answering questions like “How much car insurance do I need?” and “How do I choose my auto insurance deductible?” You can find an agent or get a quick insurance quote right now by entering your ZIP code.
Car insurance helps you to recover from damage, injuries and expenses related to a collision or other incident. It is not designed for you to come out ahead financially, but it is designed to keep you from suffering major financial hardship due to an accident, whether it’s your fault or not.
Car insurance is about risk transfer. If you don’t have insurance, the financial risk is on you in the event of an accident. Buying auto insurance mitigates some of that risk. For the cost of your premium, the insurance company will take on much of that risk for you.
When you’re reviewing the liability coverage options of your auto insurance policy, you will notice different limits:
Property damage liability limit. This is the maximum amount your insurer would pay for damage to another party’s property. The maximum payout would not exceed the limit you’ve set.
Bodily injury liability limit per person injured. This establishes a maximum payout for each individual who is injured in an accident that you cause, up to your policy limit.
Bodily injury liability limit per accident. This sets a cap on the total amount that your insurance provider will pay out for all damages associated with a single accident you cause. It’s important to set this limit high enough so that it will be enough to pay the medical expenses incurred by multiple people.
Most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance and also provide proof of insurance to register a vehicle or renew your license. In Texas, the minimum liability limits are stated as 30/60…or $30,000 in coverage per person with a maximum of $60,000 in coverage per accident.
In the case of an accident, the minimum liability insurance required by the state may not be enough coverage to pay for the damages that result after an accident. In this case, the driver responsible for the accident may have to pay additional expenses out of pocket. To determine how much Auto insurance you need, consider:
When you purchase an auto insurance, pay attention to the liability limits you choose. You need to meet the state’s minimum required limits, of course, but you may want to purchase a policy with higher limits to make sure you’re better protected. The reason is that, if the damage you accidentally cause exceeds the limits of your coverage, you may be held financially responsible for the difference. As you consider what kind of auto insurance policy to purchase, talk to a professional insurance agent about your options and the liability coverage limits that make sense for you.
If you’re found to be at fault in an accident, liability coverage will help you pay for damage to another person’s property (this is called property damage liability) or for costs associated with their injuries (the coverage known as bodily injury liability) that you are responsible for.
Drivers in every state are required to have auto liability insurance, such as personal injury protection (PIP).
Car insurance liability requirements vary by state, and include a minimum amount for bodily injury costs per person and per accident as well as a minimum for property damage liability. If you cause an accident, liability coverage pays those costs, up to the limits set for your policy.
In addition to required liability coverage, you may also want collision coverage to protect your investment in your vehicle. And depending upon your specific needs and risks, you may also want comprehensive coverage – now known as “other than collision.” Together, collision and comprehensive can provide protection for everything from accidents to theft and vandalism.
Legal defense alone can cause devastating financial hardship, even if it turns out you are not found to be at fault. For this reason, it is important to think carefully about the coverage you may need in the event of an accident. If you buy car insurance online without professional advice, you may not be fully covered.
Shopping for insurance online may be a great way to get information, but when it comes to purchasing a policy, it is important to make sure you have the coverage you need – no more, no less. Many people go looking for instant online insurance, only to find that it is difficult to know whether it offers the right amount and type of protection. Unfortunately, when most people find out they do not have appropriate protection, it’s often too late.
It is important to discuss your risks and coverage options with a professional insurance agent who can help ensure that you don’t have coverage gaps. A SUNUP independent agent can help you learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision about your car insurance and make sure you have every discount you are entitled to receive.