Driving without insurance is illegal. Also, you must have liability coverage to register your car. Your insurance company tells the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you buy auto insurance or stop paying your premium.
State Law requirements limits for Auto Insurance
- $15,000 bodily injury per person
- $30,000 bodily injury per accident
- $5,000 property damage per accident
- $25,000 bodily Injury per person;
- $50,000 bodily Injury per Accident
- $20,000 property damage per accident
Personal injury protection (this is like Medical payments but is broader and has a higher coverage limit)
- $15,000 per person.
- $25,000 per person; and
- $50,000 per crash for bodily injury.
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $15,000 property damage per accident
Liability Coverage is for accidents that are your fault. Bodily injury liability pays for bodily injury you cause someone else. Property damage liability pays for property damage you cause to someone else’s property. Liability Coverage is required by law. Liability coverage is normal written $X bodily injury per person/ $x per bodily injury accident/ $X property damage per accident. An example of this would be 15/30/5, which is the California minimum requirement.
What if I cause an accident that costs more than my liability limit?
You can be sued for additional costs. It is possible that you could lose your savings and even your house.
Should I get higher limits than the law requires?
You may want higher liability limits than the law requires. In general, the more assets you have, the more you could lose in a lawsuit.
The minimum we recommend and will write in our office is $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident and $25,000 property damage per accident if you don’t own a home.
The minimum we recommend if you own a home is $250,000 bodily injury per person, $500,000 bodily injury per accident, and $250,000 property damage per accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC) /Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
This covers you if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have any liability insurance or is underinsured. This only pays if the uninsured driver is identified. In California, about 15%, Oregon, about 13%, and Tennessee, about 20%, drive without auto insurance.
Insurance companies must offer you this coverage. If you choose not to buy it, you must sign a form to deny this coverage.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI): This pays for injuries to you and any person in your car when there is an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault. The limits are the same as your liability coverage limits.
Underinsured motorist (UIM): This covers limited costs for bodily injury if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have enough insurance to pay for damage
Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD): This pays for the damage to your car from an accident with an uninsured driver who is at fault.
This covers the cost of medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured. This coverage can pay for immediate medical care, no matter who is at fault.
What is an insurance deductible?
A deductible is a specified amount of money you must pay before an insurance company pays a claim. The higher the deductible, and lower the insurance premium. You must consider how much money you can afford to pay out of pocket. The deductible only applies to collision and comprehensive coverage.
Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle from a collision with another vehicle, with an object, and a single-car rollover accident. This coverage is optional unless you finance or lease your vehicle.
With Fire season upon us, this is a reminder that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance does not cover damage to your vehicle by fire. The coverage for your vehicle’s damage by fire is covered under the comprehensive coverage on your automobile insurance. This coverage is for damage to your vehicle from fire, vandalism, theft, glass damage, civil disturbance, like a riot, falling objects, hitting an animal, and natural disasters like a hurricane or tornado. This is an optional coverage unless you have financed or leased your car.
Rental Car Coverage
This allows you to rent a car while your car is in the shop or totaled when a covered incident caused the damage. This coverage allows for renting a car for up to 30 days. This is optional coverage. To be eligible for this coverage, you need to have collision and comprehensive coverage.
I am renting a car while on vacation, am I covered?
The coverage limits and deductibles on your auto policy will apply to your rental car. You have coverage while driving through the USA. You are required to have collision and comprehensive coverage for renting a car. If you don’t have these coverages, you can purchase it from the rental car company, or we can add it to your policy.
This is optional coverage. Some people choose to get this coverage from AAA. There are various things this covers and will be determined by the amount of coverage you have.
Does my personal Auto Policy cover me doing delivery services?
Many people are looking for ways to earn extra cash. Many people look at transporting people or delivering food and goods. Some examples are Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, Doordash, Instacart, and delivering food for a restaurant.
Your personal auto policy doesn’t cover you while making these deliveries. If you get in an accident while doing these deliveries and file a claim, your insurance company will likely deny the claim. The insurance company may then cancel your policy due to learning about the increased risk of insuring you. If you do delivery for a company, ask if they provide a vehicle for you to use and have a Business Auto Policy that covers you.