Do you know how much liability auto insurance you really need? Or are you just going along with your state minimum and hoping that’s going to be enough? We spend our whole lives being told that “good enough” isn’t good enough, and that goes double when you’re talking about your auto insurance. You state’s minimum liability levels might not be enough to keep your head above water if disaster strikes.
What is Liability Insurance?
Before you can make an educated decision about liability auto insurance you first need to know what it is (other than something the DMV says you have to have before they’ll give you your vehicle registration). It works like this: If you cause an accident, any damages, injuries and, most importantly, bills that result from that accident are going to be your responsibility. Unless you’re lucky enough to have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around in a bank account you don’t really need, that’s probably not a risk you want to take.
That’s why you need liability insurance. A liability auto insurance policy will protect you after an accident, paying (minus your deductible) the bill for:
· The other driver’s medical expenses.
· The cost to repair other vehicles involved in the accident.
· Medical treatment for passengers (theirs and yours).
· Repairs to any houses, parked cars, guardrails, sidewalks, store display windows and anything else that didn’t have the good sense to get out of your way before you hit it.
How Much Do You Really Need?
You probably don’t need to do the math to figure this one out: Accidents are expensive. Most states don’t require you to have more than $100,000 worth of liability auto insurance, but let’s face it; an accident involving two cars or more can burn through that pretty quickly.
The average collision repair bill STARTS at $2,100 (statistically speaking), while an emergency room visit can cost up to $1,000 just to watch the ER doc come in and say hello. Radiology, pathology, pharmacy and the physicians themselves bill separately for any actual services-and that’s not even talking about the $5,000+ a stay at the ICU can cost. Calculate the costs of repairing a vehicle, plus, say, ER visits for five, two stays in the ICU and $20,000 worth of damage to public property and it’s easy to see why $100,000 just doesn’t go as far as it used to.
Most leading experts recommend that drivers purchase between $100,000 and $500,000 worth of liability auto insurance to ensure that they’re prepared if disaster does strike. Those are good numbers to keep in mind when you’re shopping for your liability policy.