[fusion_text]If I were to ask you how much you spend on auto insurance each month, you could probably tell me the exact amount right down to the penny. But could you explain your policy’s coverage down to the last detail? Like most Texans, probably not!
Think I’m wrong? When was the last time you sent your dentist a card reminding him you were coming in to have your teeth cleaned? Now before you roll your eyes, roll through the rest of this article and let’s see if I am wrong.
Driving your auto is the single biggest liability exposure you have. No other activity you do as an individual comes close. PERIOD! No ifs, ands or buts about it. Add together the number of cars and drivers you have in your household. Multiply that by the times a day these cars and drivers are on the road. If you do the math, it’s a big number!
If you are still not sure about what I am saying, look at the liability coverage cost on your homeowners insurance. The cost for $100,000 in liability coverage for your home is roughly $12 per year. The only thing that will cost less than $12 dollars a year on your auto policy is towing coverage. Why the difference in cost? When was the last time you took your house for a cruise around town?
On a daily basis we drive often and, many times, far. If you look around, a lot of people are doing the same thing. So much so that in Texas there is an accident reported every 97 seconds! If I’m not mistaken, that is about the time it took you to read up to this point. By the time you finish reading this article it will happen several times more, depending on how fast you read.
So we know accidents happen, and the chances of one happening to us are real. My question to you is, does your auto insurance provide enough liability coverage to protect the other individual(s) and, in turn, yourself? This is the real question you need to answer for yourself because once the limits of coverage are used up on your policy, the remaining balance of the bill (if any) will come out of your wallet or purse.
Let me ask you a question. If you cause an accident, do you even know how much your policy will pay out?
In the great state of Texas, the legal minimum required limit for any insured driver is 20/40/15. That means:
20 – $20,000 paid to cover the medical
expenses incurred on each injured person.
40 – $40,000 total amount paid for
medical expenses resulting from the
15 – $15,000 total paid for all property
damaged from the accident.
I know that may seem like a lot but when you break it down it really isn’t! Let me explain.
When was the last time you went to the doctor for a checkup? Those visits are expensive enough. Can you imagine the cost for ER treatments, surgeries, and long-term rehab for major injuries associated with an auto accident? Adding the numbers, can you agree that these costs may easily exceed the minimum limits the state requires, depending on the severity of the injuries?
We haven’t even brought up the property limits, either. Let’s talk about that for a second. The state minimum is $15,000 for property damage. If you have shopped for a new car lately, you know that cars easily exceed $15,000 in cost. What if you total one? Suppose you damage more than one car? The $15,000 in minimum coverage suddenly is not very much money after all.
It all goes to show that auto liability limits are more important than most people realize.
I believe there are three very important reasons to purchase higher liability limits: First, it is so inexpensive to do so. Second, the state minimum does not provide realistic coverage for today’s economic climate. If you injure somebody, wouldn’t you want to have the coverage necessary to provide for him or her? Third, it should protect you.
We all hear about people winning hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars from a settlement resulting from an accident. That is great if you are the victim. What if you are on the other side of the table, being sued for damages because of an accident you caused? This is where it gets real sticky! You will be responsible for paying these expenses out of your own pocket! Your assets, your money, everything you have worked so hard for could be stripped away simply because your policy didn’t carry enough coverage!
Walt Fortenberry, a private attorney in Houston, TX who specializes in personal injury law, said, “Proper insurance coverage protects your hard earned assets. No one wants to receive a letter from their attorney that says they have been sued for more than their insurance coverage. That’s why working with your agent to maintain proper coverage is crucial.”
I believe Mr. Fortenberry makes a good point. Life changes almost daily – so it is imperative that your insurance coverages are routinely evaluated to grow and change with you. So I ask you, when was your policy last evaluated?
The good news is that the cost to raise your limits is really not that much. In fact most clients are real surprised when they learn how little it costs to raise their liability limits. How is this possible, you might ask?
Well, call your agent and find out. If your agent can’t take your call, or you are wondering why your agent hasn’t already done this, then by all means give me a call. Personally, I would love to have more customers who have taken not only the time to read this article but who are willing to take action as well. Our hope is to build you the best policy for your needs and take the time to make sure you understand it fully. And if we are lucky, to save you money in the process! Now what could be more fun than that?
While I am sure this has been a very “eye-opening” article for you, remember one thing – two to four more accidents have occurred since you began reading this article!
So please drive careful! You may not have the insurance coverage you think you do.
If you have any questions or would like further explanation, please don’t hesitate to call me or stop by my office.[/fusion_text]