One of the more difficult decisions when purchasing an auto insurance policy is determining the amount of liability coverage you should carry. To help with this decision, let’s first describe what is actually protected with your liability coverage.
Liability protects your financial assets when there has been either bodily injury, property damage or a lawsuit resulting from an accident. Financial assets could be a home, investments, retirement funds, checking and savings accounts, even future earnings. A simplified accident scenario is; you rear end the vehicle in front of you, the other driver has damage to their car or are injured and need medical care, your auto insurance liability would provide coverage for the other driver. Likewise, if you are involved in an auto accident where the other driver is at fault, their liability would cover your damages or injury.
Now, how much liability coverage should you carry on your auto policy? If you are a homeowner, and have assets that need to be protected, it is recommended that you choose the highest liability coverage option available. This may be $500,000 Bodily Injury/$500,000 Per Occurrence/$100,000 Property Damage to others. When shopping for auto insurance you may see this:
$500,000/$500,000/$100,000 or if that limit is not available, the next best amount to carry is $250,000/$500,000/$100,000.
However, if you are renting or just starting out in life and have not accrued assets yet, you should carry no less than $100,000 Bodily Injury/$300,000 Per Occurrence/$100,000 Property Damage at a minimum. Many times the cost difference between carrying $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 and the state required minimum (generally $15,000/$30,000/$10,000) could be as little as $40 to $50 a year in most cases. The cost savings of not having enough liability protection is not worth the risk of losing your financial assets or even future earnings in a claim or lawsuit.
This is just a brief explanation into how much coverage you should carry. If you would like a more detailed understanding of your coverage, or an assessment of what coverage is recommended, feel free to contact us.
The leaves have mostly fallen from the trees in our area, and it’s a good time to take a little preventative maintenance to avoid a loss or damage.
First, after a rain or morning dew, the leaves in the road can be wet and quite slippery. Keep this in mind, especially when driving downhill or making a turn. The leaves in the roadway can be even more slippery than ice. A quick stop in a leaf covered road could result in an accident if extra care is not taken. It’s also a good time to keep up with routine maintenance and check your tire tread to help with traction, and your tire air pressure.
HOME DAMAGE PREVENTION
Check your gutters and have them cleaned for your home. Leaves that accumulate in your gutters can cause damage to your roof and surrounding structures. “Ice damming” is caused when leaves don’t allow gutters to drain water properly. During a freeze, water that is trapped will turn to ice that can tear off gutters, loosen shingles and cause water to back up into your home.
Stay safe this season!