This post is part two of the blog post that answers the question “How much car insurance is enough?”
Compensation for Harm You Cause Others
Accidents happen every day in Springfield, and every day, people are injured. If you cause a collision that results in an injury, you could be held responsible. Not only could a jury impose punitive damages on you for negligence behind the wheel, but you could also be sued for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and more. It does not matter how the accident happens or whether you are totally or partially at fault; all that matters is that the accident did happen and that you are responsible.
Fortunately, all car insurance policies sold here in Missouri contain an important coverage called bodily injury liability. This mandatory coverage helps pay for the injuries of victims up to the limits of your policy. Although Missouri imposes a minimum bodily injury liability limit, we here at Tagge Insurance believe it is far too low to protect you and your family. Since you may be responsible for paying for damages that would exceed the low limits of state required minimum coverage, you may leave yourself financially responsible; we recommend higher than minimum coverage limits to shield your income and assets against litigation. As someone once said, “Can you afford to provide someone else an income besides your own family?”
Split Limits vs. Combined Single Limit (CSL)
Your coverage limit may be a combined single limit expressed as a single number, such as 300 CSL; this would mean that the insurance policy covers up to $300,000 total bodily injury liability and property damage per accident. Or your coverage could also be a split limit expressed as two separate numbers, such as 250/500; this indicates a maximum coverage of $250,000 per person, with up to $500,000 in total bodily injury coverage available for all victims combined in an accident; plus a third number $100,000 for your liability to property damage. This may be something you wish to discuss further.
Money to Protect You and Your Passengers against Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
It’s hard enough coping with the aftermath of an accident; it can take years to settle a serious injury caused by an accident. It’s much worse if the person responsible for your accident does not have enough car insurance to compensate you for your losses. Underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) helps fill in gaps left behind by underinsured drivers, ensuring you and your passengers have access to the medical care you need and the loss of other financial resources you may incur. Likewise, uninsured motorist (UI) protection helps cover your injuries if you are hit by a driver who has no insurance at all.
Money to Help with the Smaller Things
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference. For example, if you need to seek medical attention after an accident, co-pays and health insurance deductibles can quickly add up. Medical payments coverage can provide instant relief, regardless of who was at-fault for the accident. Here at Tagge Insurance, we offer a wide range of extras to help reduce your financial burden when the unexpected occurs. From towing charges to rental car reimbursement.
Beyond Car Insurance the Excess Liability or Umbrella
There may come a time when your high-limit liability coverage still isn’t enough to cover the damages you cause in an accident. If you cause an accident that results in a fatality or permanent disability, for example, you could be sued for millions. If you have $500,000 of coverage, how will you pay for the rest of your liability? Though less common, these are the types of scenarios that cause financial ruin. Here is a question you should ask yourself,” Do you have the resources or ability to pay someone else a lifetime income?”. Don’t risk everything you have worked for and your family’s financial future. Consider an umbrella policy to supplement your primary liability coverage. With limits starting around $1 million and low, affordable rates, umbrella policies provide an easy way to shield your assets from potential lawsuits.