What type of coverage are you going to wish you had if you get in an Auto Accident? So many people just call an agent and try to find the cheapest deal, then they find themselves involved in an accident and now they pay. If you are on a budget you will have to pick and choose what kind of coverage you can get, but sometimes adding very simple things that will protect you don’t cost much at all. Here are some Auto Insurance “MUST HAVE” coverages:
1. Liability Insurance – In the state of California the required minimum limit is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Thus, a lot of people think if they buy a $15,000/$30,000 they have full coverage. In that specific case, you are correct in that you have met the state minimum required limits, by law, but that is not nearly enough coverage to protect you in the event of an accident. These policy limits were put into place a long time ago, and today’s medical bills, if you hurt someone else, will usually exceeds these limits. If you hit someone and you are found liable for the accident your liability limits would be responsible for any and all related medical care and treatment including their pain and suffering. For example, an average ambulance bill is $2,500 if they don’t bill health insurance. A life flight can be $30,000 or more, if a person is really hurt!! An ambulance and an ER visit alone will likely exceed the minimum limits of $15,000! Thus, if you get in a collision and you hurt someone your $15,000 very likely will not be enough. If you do not have a large enough policy to pay a claim, and you own assets that injured party can go after your assets. Nobody wants this to happen! So it is very important that you get more than the minimum limits! Talk to your agent about what they suggest. If they don’t help you, get another agent!
2. Under Insured and Uninsured Motorist – This coverage is an absolute must, especially here in the state of California!! It is amazing how many people still don’t have this on their Auto insurance policy, and worse yet most people do not know what this coverage is or how it would apply to them. Let’s just say if you buy liability coverage to protect someone else if you hurt them, you should also purchase at least the same amount to protect yourself if you get hurt by an uninsured motorist, or someone without enough coverage. You must add this to your policy immediately, and it should be at least as much as you get for liability. For example, if you are injured by someone else and they only have the state minimum limits of $15,000.00, but your bills totaled $25,000.00 you would still be responsible for the remaining balanced owed on this bills. However, if you had Under Insured Motorist Coverage of $50,000.00 they would step in to cover the remaining balances owed above the $15,000.00 paid by the liability settlement all the way up to the policy limits of $50,000.00. As stated above, in the state of California the minimum limits required by law are just not enough to cover someone’s injuries and Uninsured / Under Insured Motorists coverage can protect you from those that only have the state minimum limits.
3. Medical Payments Coverage – This is coverage that protects you no matter who caused the collision. This can cover you and any passengers in your vehicle who may be injured in a collision. So many people don’t have this! Many people think if they have health insurance, why would they need this too? Often times with health insurance you have out of pocket expenses, and they do not cover everything. If you have Medical Payments coverage on your policy, it will help with any unexpected Medical Bills related to an auto accident regardless of fault. This is not required by it is highly suggested. I would talk to your agent more about the many benefits Medical Payments has.
4. Rental Car Coverage – Although it is not a MUST. If you are involved in an accident, it will be very helpful to have this if you need it. Getting Taxis or an Uber or bumming rides until your car is fixed or totaled is not only frustrating, but it can become incredibly expensive. You can avoid all of those hassles if you have adequate rental coverage on your Policy!