Auto Insurance: The “Full Coverage” Myth

Greg is married and a father of three.  Driving home from work he gets slammed by a distracted driver that blew through a stop sign. After a long hospitalization, two surgeries, physical therapy and two months away from work, Greg contacts a lawyer to help him and his wife.

“Greg,” says his lawyer a week later after a short investigation. “I have bad news: The driver was uninsured and has no assets. Even worse, we can only recover part of the damages for the injuries you suffered because you purchased the minimum UM/UIM coverage.”  This scenario is all too familiar to those of us who help people hurt in car accidents.  The following tips will help you be sure this never happens to you.

Make sure your liability limits are adequate.  If you are at fault and the other driver’s damages exceed coverage, you can be held personally liable.  Experts suggest liability limits of at least $100,000/$300,000 for injuries and $50,000 for property damage. Even more if you own a home or other assets.  Adding relatively inexpensive “umbrella” coverage to your existing liability and UM/UIM benefits for more protection is wise as well.

Consider increasing your UM/UIM coverage limits.  One in eight drivers across America is uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council.  Many more drivers carry minimum liability; in Alabama this is only $25,000.00. If you are in a serious accident with an uninsured driver, you will need more coverage.

To offset some of the cost of the coverage described above, explore available discounts.  There are many discounts for which you may qualify. Ask your agent for a complete overview of every possible discount.

This is a simplified overview of auto insurance coverage. If you’ve been in an accident, call us as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your particular situation.