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Minimum Car Insurance Is a Huge Gamble

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Cheaper isn’t always better – especially when it comes to car insurance.

As a Virginia Beach personal injury attorney, I’ve handled dozens of cases where a client, or an at-fault driver, has insufficient insurance coverage. This often results in the victim dealing with even more stress since some of their medical bills may not be paid if they exceed the available coverage limits.

I understand the temptation of getting minimum insurance. You see the commercials on TV and hear them on the radio talking about the “cheapest” auto insurance so you can “save” money. While ‘bare’ minimum coverage is certainly better than not having any insurance at all, it can be risky because minimum coverage may not provide enough protection if you get hurt in a serious Virginia Beach auto accident.

Each state has different required minimums, but many states have the following type of coverage minimums:

  • $25,000 per injured person for bodily injury.
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.
  • $10,000 for property damage.

To determine your own state’s requirements, contact your state’s department of insurance.

When considering basic coverage, there are five key points to remember:

1. Auto insurance protects you both when you get hurt by a negligent driver, and if you or a loved one cause a serious accident.

2. Moderate-to-severe- crashes can easily reach $100,000 or more, depending on factors of the crash including how many vehicles are involved as well as how many people sustained injuries and also the severity of those injuries.

3. If your policy doesn’t pay the total that you owe, the injured party can pursue damages against you until it is paid. An at-fault part may be forced to defend himself and could further be forced to liquidate assets.

4. If you have a bare minimum policy and decide to get more coverage, it likely won’t cost much more than you are currently paying. In such a case, ask your provider to change your deductible instead of reducing your coverage.

5. Increasing your coverage is not as expensive as you may think. Going froma minimum policy to a 50K/100K or 100K/300K policy can sometimes only cost an extra $10-15 per month. Obviously, this depends on an array of factors including your driving record, the insurance company you are dealing with, your age, marital status, etc.

The take home message  – it can be a gamble deciding to opt for a cheaper premium to save money up front. Such a decision can cost you a lot later if you get into a major accident. Take the time to shop around for the right deal and make sure you understand your policy in and out.