How much automobile insurance should I buy?
As a personal injury attorney here in the East Valley of Maricopa County, Arizona, I am continually amazed at how little insurance my clients carry to protect themselves from injuries caused by automobile and motorcycle accidents. Whenever any of my clients ask me the question; “Well, how much insurance should I have purchased?” I tell the the same thing, over and over and over again: “Well, figure out how much insurance you can afford, then buy a little more.”
Buy more than you can affordMost people think I just say that because it helps me or makes my job easier but the fact is, no one is going to protect you - you have to protect yourself. And in our society, the only way to protect yourself is with insurance, and a lot of it. Think about how quickly medical bills can mount up. How quickly you can use your personal time sick time or vacation time at work * and when you do use it all up? No more income, sorry. And how about pain and suffering, lost opportunity, mental anguish and despair? If you do not protect yourself, all you have left are your assets to sell and I have watched as injured clients quite literally crawled into bankruptcy because they did not have adequate protection.
Insurance protects you not only from the harmful effects of injury caused by the careless or negligent driving of others, it also protects you from your own mistakes. Accidentally cause an automobile collision, or run into someone on a motorcycle and they are going to come looking to you for compensation. If you do not have enough insurance to cover their damages, again, all there is left is your assets to sell, and trust me, if you have assets and if a competent personal injury lawyer sees that you do, he or she is going to come after them,without losing a moment of sleep at night.
Look, I know that when you are buying insurance the most important thing on your mind, AT THAT TIME, is the bottom line * how much is it going to cost? You just cannot think that way. The better question is * if something bad happens to me, if I break my back in an automobile accident OR I break break the leg of someone else accidentally, what will that cost me? The answer? A lot!
Insurance protects YOU!In future blogs we will talk about the various types of insurance in more depth but for purposes of this article let's just take a general look at liability insurance and Uninsured and Underinsured coverage. With the cost of medical care raising by the minute in this country, One Hundred Thousand Dollars per person ($100,000.00) and Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000.00) per accident, appears to be the MINIMUM ANYONE with any assets at all should carry. The minimum.
Now let's say you are carrying 50/100 coverage right now ( More on what this means in the next blog but it stands for $50,000.00 per person and a total of $100,000.00 per accident). I suggest you call your agent or go on-line and look at the price difference between the Fifth Thousand Dollar policy and the One Hundred Thousand Dollar policy. I think you will be surprised at how little the extra coverage costs. Yes, it might mean one less Christmas present under the tree this year * but it will help guarantee there will be Christmas presents under the tree for years to come.
Again * PROTECT YOURSELF * against the negligence of others and from your own possible negligence or mistake. Everyone hates insurance, it is true, but it is a fact of life. Swallow hard and bite the bullet * car accident, automobile collisions, motorcycle accidents * and head neck, back and horrible catastrophic injuries are the price we pay for the mobile society in which we live. Do not rely on anyone else, only yourself. Protect yourself. Now, sit down and figure out how much insurance you can afford * then buy a little more!