How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?

There are many options available when it comes to car insurance. With new tools like Progressive where people can pick and choose what they want in their policy it is now up to the consumer to decide what coverages to buy without the expertise of an agent. This can lead to paying for coverage you don’t need or for missing out on something that you do need.

The state of California requires that every driver and owner of a vehicle have liability insurance. The minimum used to be $15,000/$30,000, but low income residents of California may qualify for a state issued policy of $10,000/$20,000 coverage for bodily injury. This is insurance for people you injure. It protects your assets and keeps you from being sued.

Another type of coverage you should buy, but isn’t required, is uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This is insurance for you. If you are hit by a car and the other person flees the scene, has no insurance, or only has a minimum policy, you have protected yourself. Being in this industry has shown me that a car accident can change someone’s life and treatment for injuries can get expensive very quickly.

If you get picked up by an ambulance, that is $2,000. If the ambulance takes you to U.C. Davis, you could easily incur $20,000 in diagnostic testing in the blink of an eye. If the other person only has $15,000 that doesn’t even cover your emergency room bill much less future treatment.

So protect yourself. If you want to be able to get injections if needed, have a UM policy of $50,000/$100,000. If you want to be able to have surgery if needed, have a UM policy of $100,000/$300,000. Most policies insist that your bodily injury coverage be equal to or greater than your UM amount. You cannot buy a policy that covers others for $15,000 and yourself for $100,000.

Another coverage that would benefit you, the insured, is medical payments coverage. This is an amount of money that your insurance company will use to reimburse you for medical expenses right away (instead of waiting to get paid by the defense insurance company). This will keep bills out of collections and protect your credit. $5,000 in medpay coverage is usually good enough to pay the initial medical bills. I once had a client who had $20,000 in medical payments and she only had a $3,000 chiropractor bill, so she paid for all that coverage, but did not use it when the time came.

When buying insurance it is important to have at least the state minimal in bodily injury liability. If you don’t, then according to Proposition 213, you cannot collect for any pain or suffering. Only actual medical bills and documented wage loss can be collected, no general damages whatsoever. Bodily injury liability coverage protects your assets, uninsured motorist coverage protects you, and med-pay protects your credit.

It is possible that you will never use the insurance you pay for and it can be a bit galling to pay for it for years and years. Many people choose to only have the state minimum because of that. Many people. Which means if you ever do get hit, you will likely be dealing with a minimum policy. You have to make the choice that works best for you. Without the guidance of insurance agents, people are having to choose their policies on their own. We just want you to have the information you need to make an informed decision when selecting your automobile coverages.

It is possible that you will never use the insurance you pay for and it can be a bit galling to pay for it for years and years. Many people choose to only have the state minimum because of that. Many people. Which means if you ever do get hit, you will likely be
dealing with a minimum policy. You have to make the choice that works best for you. Without the guidance of insurance agents, people are having to choose their policies on their own. We just want you to have the information you need to make an informed
decision when selecting your automobile coverages.

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