Don’t Be Fooled: The Auto Insurance Minimums in Your State Probably Aren’t Enough
Trusted Choice|May 8, 2013
There are a wide variety of April Fool’s Day jokes out there- from telling people that dihydrogen monoxide is coming out of the sink (dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water) to aluminum foiling your bosses office (not that Trusted Choice endorses such pranks, mind you). But one thing you should avoid falling for is being told that carrying only the state mandated minimum coverage is adequate auto insurance protection.
In an auto accident, drivers can be legally liable for their passengers’ injuries. While most states have mandatory minimum limits of liability required of all drivers, many of these requirements may not be sufficient in covering injuries sustained in an auto accident. In some states, this required amount may be as little as $25,000 per person and $50,000 total for all injuries in an accident—which may not be enough when you consider the severity of certain injuries and the number of passengers that could be involved. Remember that this limit also applies for all injuries caused by an accident for which you are liable, including passengers of other cars.
So what are the right limits? Like many answers…. It depends. Everyone’s situation is different, but a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent can help you understand what issues you should consider when evaluating what liability limits to purchase. They include:
How much would it take to compensate a victim? If you were to cause a severe, life altering injury to someone, consider how much money it would cost over time to compensate them. It’s likely higher than $25,000.
What assets do you have and what is your net worth? Think about your home, your car, savings, investments, etc. Having adequate insurance to protect these assets is something you should consider.
Naturally you might wonder if increasing your liability limits will drive up the price of your insurance premiums. While you’ll pay more for the additional coverage, it may not be nearly as much as you think to raise your liability limits, and in the long run it offers you more financial protection. You may be able to offset some of those expenses by raising your deductible or through other discounts. This is where a Trusted Choice agent can help identify the different options available to you.
There is no definitive rule of thumb for making sure you have “enough” insurance but it’s important that you feel comfortable with the amount you have, because nobody likes to be made a fool of when it comes to an insurance claim.