California law requires drivers to have liability insurance in the event of an auto accident. Generally, the minimum requirements for auto insurance is about $15,000 per person or $30,000 per auto accident, but our San Diego auto accident lawyers know that insurance companies offer higher limits for just a few dollars extra each month.
So what are the benefits of paying more per month for auto accident insurance? Let’s look at a few examples.
Why pay more for car insurance? So it won’t cost you more in an auto accident.
Suppose you are seriously injured in a rear-end crash with a young person who driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. The teen driver has the minimum auto accident insurance required by California law and you have medical bills from the hospital totaling over $100,000. What are your options?
In this situation, uninsured motorist coverage under not at-fault auto accident insurance might be applicable. Uninsured motorist coverage sometimes applies when the responsible party doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance to cover your damages.
In the event that the responsible party does not have enough insurance, the law allows you to recover from your own uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage as long as your limits are higher than the responsible party’s policy.
If you have $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage, you can recover the $15,000 from the teen driver’s insurance company, and then recover $85,000 from your own uninsured motorist policy. California law does not allow you to “stack” or add up both policies — instead, you can only recover the difference after the responsible party pays. That being said, should you have minimal uninsured motorist policy limits, you could end up with $85,000 in medical bills to pay if you do not have any other means by which to pay it!
This is exactly why higher auto accident insurance limits are generally not as expensive as they seem. You can save money by increasing your deductibles which may allow you to have higher limits for both liability and uninsured motorist’s coverage.
Let’s look at another example:
Suppose you are involved in an auto accident and were found at fault. Your insurance will only cover up to the policy limits you pay for. If you only carry a minimal policy, ($15,000/$30,000) you could potentially be sued for any damages that are more than your car accident insurance policy limits. By paying a couple dollars more per month for higher liability coverage — taking care of both personal injuries and property damage — would mean peace of mind in knowing that your personal assets, i.e. your home, are protected from a potential lawsuit.
Auto accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime, which is why it is important to understand the real value of higher car accident insurance limits. Statistics show you have about a five percent chance of being injured in car accident, depending on the automobile you drive, your age and other factors. That is why our San Diego auto accident lawyers encourage you to spend just a few more dollars every month for higher insurance coverage.
Car insurance is a great investment that could end up saving you after an auto accident.
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SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines