Coverage for You
Liability coverage is the single most important type of auto insurance; it protects your financial security. Carrying too little auto accident liability can expose you to property and personal injury costs if you are in an at-fault accident.
Should you be involved in a multiple car accident or damage expensive property, the state mandated minimum coverage may not be enough, leaving you to pay the bills. We know that medical costs are ever-increasing, which makes it even more important to choose enough liability coverage to make your policy worthwhile. Opting for state minimums for liability limits may be an unwise way to save on insurance.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily injury liability coverage applies when, through the use of an insured auto, you (or another insured person) hurt other people - such as pedestrians, passengers in your car, or people in other vehicles. If injury claims or lawsuits are brought against you, bodily injury liability coverage provides for your legal defense. Also, if you are found legally liable by an investigation or by a judge, this coverage pays the damages assessed against you up to the dollar limits in your policy.
Property Damage Liability
If you caused an accident and damaged someone else's car, how would you pay for the damages? Suppose you damaged a telephone pole, a light post, or a building? Property damage liability coverage applies in these situations. Property damage coverage does not pay for the damage to your property, but pays, up to your policy limits, for the damaged property of others. If claims or lawsuits are brought against you, property damage liability coverage provides for your legal defense. And, if you are found legally liable by an investigation or by a judge, this coverage pays the damages assessed against you up to the dollar limits in your policy.
Medical payments coverage pays for medical expenses, no matter who's at fault, if you and/or occupants in your car are injured. It also protects you and relatives living in your household if you are injured in someone else's car, or if you were to be injured by a car as a pedestrian. All reasonable and necessary medical expenses are covered up to the amounts and within the time specified in your policy.
This coverage is valuable if you do not have health insurance because payment will be made while liability is being determined. If you already have health insurance, you may only need coverage for expenses beyond what is provided by your primary insurance. Excess medical payments coverage pays for eligible medical expenses not covered by your primary insurer - including deductibles and co-payments.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection covers you, your passengers, or a resident of your household if injured by a motor vehicle. It allows medical, loss of income, loss of service and funeral expense (specified by policy limits) to be paid promptly on a first-party basis without regard to fault. The choice of limits is $10,000 or $35,000.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, Bodily Injury & Property Damage
Suppose you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. What if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver? Or, what if you are injured and the coverage limits of the person at fault are not enough to pay your medical bills?
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage provides you with extra protection for bodily injury or death which results from an accident where the party at fault is uninsured or underinsured. If the bodily injury liability limits or bond limits of the person at fault are not sufficient to cover you, this coverage will pay the difference up to your policy limits. This means your insurance company will pay you, relatives who live with you, and the occupants of your insured car for bodily injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver or by a hit-and-run accident, up to your policy limits.
This coverage also covers bodily injury costs for you and relatives who live with you if you're injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist as pedestrians or while riding in someone else's car. In addition to your medical expenses and loss of earnings, this can also include damages for pain and suffering.
Coverage for Your Car
If your car is damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage, windstorm damage or even contact with an animal, comprehensive coverage will pay, less your deductible, for the cost of your repairs or the actual cash value of your car, whichever is less. Comprehensive coverage does not include wear and tear, engine failure or other mechanical difficulties. When you are financing your car, comprehensive coverage may be required by the lien holder.
Collision coverage pays to fix or replace your car if it's overturned or damaged in a collision with another car or object. Your insurance company pays for damages, less your deductible, for the cost of your repairs or the actual cash value of your car, whichever is less, regardless of who is at fault. Collision coverage is available only with a deductible. As with comprehensive coverage, if you are financing your car, the lien holder may require collision coverage.
Car Rental Expense
What would you do if your car was damaged in an accident and you had no other means of transportation? Car rental expense coverage will reimburse you for the cost of renting a car. Companies providing this coverage usually offer it as an option. Details of the coverage vary by insurer.
Once the liability limits are exhausted on your home, auto or other underlying insurance policies, your Umbrella policy takes over and provides another layer of liability protection should you be sued and found legally liable for causing injury to someone else or damaging their property. Because the average size of jury awards has increased dramatically in the last few years, Umbrella insurance has become more important.
Examples Situations that Demonstrate Need for Umbrella Insurance
- Your car slips out of gear and rolls into your neighbor.
- Your dog bites a neighbor’s child.
- While on vacation, the rented boat you’re driving hits two people in a canoe.
- A fire in your condo spreads to other units.
If any of these unfortunate accidents should happen to you, there’s a good chance your current liability limits won't be enough to protect your assets or your future earnings.
Umbrella limits start at $1 million with higher limits available. This insurance covers you and all members of your household anywhere in the world.
The best part of Umbrella insurance may be its very reasonable cost. Although your protection is substantially increased, the average cost is well under a dollar a day.