Now is not the time to cut back on auto insurance, even in this economy. Florida, my home state, requires drivers to have at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection and Property Damage (PIP/PD) auto insurance. In many cases the minimum is not enough insurance. Here’s why.
More Uninsured Drivers- The Insurance Research Council reports nearly 1-in-5 of all drivers have little to no auto insurance. Most of these drivers have hardly any assets to cover your damages. So suing them is likely a wasted effort. An accident with these drivers could be another burden to your credit or monetary resources. Most auto insurers have coverage options that protect you from this situation. This is not your only risk.
You Are STILL Responsible for Damages Your Policy Doesn’t Cover- If you hit a new Honda Civic, damage personal/business property or seriously injure someone you would use up Florida’s $10,000 minimum. Being underinsured is not a legal excuse. Most states allow victims to sue for damages your insurance does not cover. This leaves your assets vulnerable to lawsuits. Yes, that includes stocks, bonds and maybe your home in some states. Your insurer may make up for some of your extra expenses.
Offset Added Expenses with Incentives- Additional coverage could be light on your wallet. Most auto insurers give discounts for having good grades, built-in security systems or even extended periods of incident-free insurance cycles. Make sure your policy maximizes these incentives.
Having enough insurance protects your family and your future. I encourage you to converse with your insurance agent about securing adequate coverage.
Keisha Fisher, a Tallahassee-based Allstate Insurance agent agrees.
The Dodge Ram photo is courtesy of autos.yahoo.com.