How do you know how much car insurance you need? It is a question many Shawano drivers find themselves asking when shopping for coverage. The truth is car insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. In fact, it should be highly personalized and adapted to meet your unique needs. In this article, we will explore reasons you need the right types of coverage and ample limits.
If Your Car is Stolen, Damaged, or Destroyed
Maybe you have car damage after an accident. Perhaps a storm blew through, tossing hail and debris onto your car. Whatever the cause, physical damages can be very expensive to repair. What would you do if you were faced with thousands of dollars in repairs, or worse – the need to replace a stolen or totaled vehicle? When it comes to covering your personal vehicle against damages, you will need two separate types of insurance protection: collision and comprehensive.
Collision coverage helps pay for repairs to your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident. Whether you are involved in a multi-car pileup or run your car off the road, you can rely on collision coverage to pay for repairs or otherwise compensate you if your vehicle is deemed a total loss.
Comprehensive coverage is designed to cover vehicle repairs and losses caused by events other than collision, or OTC. This includes damages caused by things like inclement weather, deer, or vandalism. It can even help cover replacement of your vehicle if it is stolen.
If you are leasing your vehicle or borrowing money from a lender to finance your car, chances are you will be required to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage. If you own your vehicle outright, physical damage coverage may be at your discretion. However, it is important to consider whether you could afford thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to repair or replace your car after an accident, theft, or other loss. Ultimately, both types of coverage play an important role in protecting the financial interest you have in your vehicle.
Purchasing collision and comprehensive coverage is easy when you use Feivor Insurance. Simply choose a deductible, and we will take care of the rest. Deductibles may range between $100 and $1,000 depending on the company and coverage type. Typically, a higher deductible will produce a lower premium, but you should only choose an amount you could reasonably afford to pay if you need to file a claim.
Beyond that, there is no coverage amounts to choose from. Instead, your vehicle is automatically insured for its ‘actual cash value.’ However, exceptions may be made for antique cars and collector vehicles, which may be insured for their ‘agreed value.’
You Damage Someone Else’s Vehicle or Property
As a driver in the State of Wisconsin, you can be held financially liable for any damages you cause to another person’s property. Without adequate liability insurance, you could be personally sued for any losses that exceed the limits on your auto liability coverage. State law requires that all drivers carry a minimum amount of property damage liability protection, but it does not scratch the surface of what some accidents can cost.
Imagine, for example; a nurse fell asleep at the wheel on the way home from a late shift at work. She plows through someone’s yard, knocking down their mailbox and fence before slamming into their garage door. She is responsible for the cost of replacing the fence, mailbox, and garage door, as well as repairs to the luxury vehicle that was stored inside the garage. In this scenario, the damages total tens of thousands of dollars – money she would not want to pay out of pocket.
If it were you, how would you pay the bill? Even if the victim’s insurance company initially pays for the damages, you will still be responsible for reimbursing the insurer for the loss. Would you have enough property damage liability to cover the cost, or would you expect to land in court with a lawsuit hanging over your head?
Money for Harm You Cause Others
If you are at fault for a collision, you are responsible for injuries to the victims of that accident. Whether another driver or a pedestrian, you can be sued for compensation of damages, which may include the cost of current and future medical bills, as well as lost wages and emotional distress. If you exhibited extreme negligence, such as driving while texting or intoxicated, you might also have to pay punitive damages. Bodily injury liability insurance can cover these costs, but only up to the limits you select for your policy. Any damages beyond those limits are yours to pay out-of-pocket and could total hundreds of thousands of dollars to be recovered from your savings, assets, or future income.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Options
Insurers offer bodily injury liability coverage in two different ways. The first, known as a split limit, is expressed as two different numbers separated by a forward slash (i.e. 25/50 or 250/500). The first number is the coverage available per person in an accident, and the second is the total available bodily injury coverage for all injured victims in an accident. The other type of cover is known as combined single limit (CSL); this is the total amount of liability coverage available for injured victims in an accident with no separate limits for individual victims.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
Here in Wisconsin, bodily injury liability coverage is mandatory by law, but the minimum limits required by the state come nowhere close to protecting you in a serious accident. Currently, drivers are required to have at least a 25/50 split, although we recommend much more coverage to minimize your financial vulnerability. Our team here at Feivor Insurance can help you determine how much bodily injury liability protection you might need for your individual needs.
Money to Protect You and Your Passengers against Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Some things are outside your control. Just as you cannot prevent someone from hitting your car, you also cannot control how much car insurance an at-fault driver will have to cover your injuries. Uninsured motorist (UI) and underinsured motorist (UIM) protections can provide peace of mind knowing that you and your passengers will be covered if a driver hits you with too little insurance or no insurance at all. It is perhaps the most important coverage on your policy since it guarantees you and your passengers’ needs will be met even if the responsible party is unable to pay.
Money to Help with the Smaller Things
An accident can affect your pocketbook in more ways than one. There are towing charges, the cost of a rental car, and possibly even an expensive health insurance deductible if you require medical care. Here at Feivor Insurance, we can personalize your car insurance policy to fit your individual needs and minimize your out-of-pocket expenses. From towing and rental car coverage to medical payments protection that covers you regardless of who is at-fault, we offer several types of coverage to reduce your financial burden after an accident.
Beyond Car Insurance
Sometimes even high-limit liability coverage is not enough to protect you against an extreme situation. If you cause an accident that permanently disables the breadwinner of a family, compensatory damages could total a million dollars or more – an amount that far exceeds even the highest available liability coverage. Here at Feivor Insurance, we urge drivers to strongly consider supplementing their liability coverage with an umbrella policy that extends primary liability by $1 million or more. The coverage is very affordable, and it could mean the difference between financial security and ruin. For help determining if umbrella insurance might be right for you, contact our office today.