Why Your Recommended Car Insurance May Not Be Enough
- September 21, 2021
Many states have a minimum amount of required coverage for drivers, but what many drivers don’t know is that the basic required coverage is often not enough to offer any true relief to you if you’re injured in an accident. While we’re not a car insurance company, we’ve seen firsthand how insufficient coverage can prevent those injured through no fault of their own from receiving the complete compensation they need. Keep reading to learn why that basic recommended car insurance likely isn’t enough if you’re ever involved in an accident.
What Does Liability Actually Cover?
The most commonly required level of car insurance is liability insurance. If you are only purchasing liability insurance, you possibly may be saving some money, but not when it comes to covering serious injuries should you ever be in a not-at-fault collision. If the at-fault driver is underinsured with the minimum levels or uninsured altogether, your insurance may not cover the medical expenses you incur. Plus, these medical expenses and the time out of work to visit physicians and specialists can add up fast and continue for years.
You might be thinking, “Well, I’m a responsible driver, so it’s unlikely I’ll ever be involved in a serious car accident anyways.” But, there are no guarantees in life. If you only have the minimum amount of car insurance, you have very little protection against paying out of pocket for expensive surgeries, missed days at work, and ongoing care. Essentially, you’re relying on the other party having sufficient insurance coverage to pay for your bills, and, sadly, most drivers are underinsured or uninsured. Therefore, you will only receive up to the minimum coverage amount.
What Are Your Upgrade Options?
There are many coverage options available for auto insurance. Of course, most insurance companies want to show you estimates for the bare minimum coverage, as this will allow them to advertise their lowest possible prices. But in reality, it’s usually better to pick an insurance plan that offers more protection or at least adds certain types of additional coverage.
If you’re looking to expand your coverage, we strongly recommend getting coverage for at least $100,000 in liability as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. However, your other upgrade options include:
- Comprehensive coverage – This protects your car from damage that has nothing to do with an automobile accident, including damage from hail, a fallen tree limb, or even having your car stolen. This is usually an inexpensive upgrade to make to your insurance policy and is almost always worth it.
- Collision coverage – Collision coverage will help pay for damage to your vehicle regardless of whether you were at fault or not. It will even cover repairs if you collide with an object or have another kind of accident that doesn’t involve a second motorist.
The Importance of UM and UIM Coverage
As we mentioned earlier, we strongly recommend adding uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage to your auto insurance policy. This add-on to your basic liability insurance is arguably one of the most important upgrades you can make. Even if you’re never at fault for a car accident, UM and UIM protection can help to bridge the gap between what the at-fault party will pay and what you actually need to cover your bills.
What Happens with UM and UIM?
If you don’t have this type of coverage, what happens if you’re in a collision with an at-fault driver who isn’t insured or whose insurance doesn’t pay out enough to cover your bills? What options are available to you? In these situations, you have to pursue compensation from the individual driver rather than working with the insurance company to reach a settlement.
These cases can become much more complicated than ones where we negotiate with the insurer because the other driver’s ability to pay more is always a factor. No matter how hard you negotiate with an uninsured driver, they only have so many assets to their name to help compensate you for your expenses.
How We Can Help You
As we mentioned, we’re not an insurance company. But as personal injury attorneys who have decades of experience working with car accident victims, we’ve seen the difference that having better insurance can make in our clients’ lives. We strongly advise you to upgrade your insurance to at least include $100,000 liability as well as $100,000 UM/UIM coverage. It typically only increases monthly payments by a few dollars per month, and it significantly improves your own protection in a collision. With liability insurance alone, you’re only protecting the other driver when you’re in an accident—you’re not protecting yourself at all.
Of course, having sufficient insurance doesn’t negate your right to pursue compensation from the responsible party. If you were injured in an accident where you were not at fault, we can help you to work with the other driver’s insurance carrier, or pursue compensation directly from the driver if necessary. Contact us today for a consultation regarding your case.