This post is part two of the blog post that answers the question “How much car insurance is enough?”
Compensation for Harm You Cause Others
Car accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Whether you slide out of control on an icy bridge or lose a tire on the highway, if you cause a collision, there is a good chance there will be injuries. Wisconsin drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability insurance to compensate victims for injury-related expenses. As a driver, you have the option of choosing how much coverage you wish to purchase for bodily injury liability so long as it meets state minimum coverage requirements. Choosing limits that are too low, however, could put you at risk of being sued for any unpaid damages.
For example, if a woman is disabled after a car accident, she can sue the at-fault driver for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and more. If the driver showed neglect in causing the accident, a jury might also impose punitive damages. Typically, an at-fault driver’s car insurance would pay the damages, but only up to the limits specified within the policy. Any unpaid damages more than those limits are still the responsibility of the driver, who may be forced to liquidate savings or make payments from future income.
We here at Lillie-Couch Insurance recommend that our Clear Lake area customers invest in high-limit bodily injury liability coverage. The right limits could protect your income and assets against a possible lawsuit.
Split Limits vs. Combined Single Limit (CSL)
Bodily injury liability coverage is available in two different forms – combined single limits (CSL) and split limits. A combined single limit is a single number on your policy. It represents in thousands the amount of money your insurance company is willing to pay all injured victims in an accident. A split limit is similar in that it also establishes a maximum coverage limit per accident. However, split limits also include another limit, which caps the coverage available per individual. Therefore a 250/500 split would translate to $250,000 individual coverage with a maximum of $500,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident.
Money to Protect You and Your Passengers against Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Getting injured in a car accident is bad enough, but it’s worse when an uninsured driver injures you. There are far too many uninsured drivers on the road, and if you are hit by one, recovering compensation for your injuries could be a challenge. Uninsured motorist coverage (UI) can protect you and your passengers, offering coverage if an uninsured driver injures you. We also offer underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), which helps cover your losses more than the at-fault driver’s liability limits.
Money to Help with the Little Things
Car accidents cost money, but with the right car insurance coverage, your out-of-pocket costs can be minimal. At Lillie-Couch Insurance, we offer a wide range of coverage to help with the ‘little things’ that can add up to big expenses. From towing charges and rental car fees to medical co-pays and health insurance deductibles, we offer medical payments and other coverage options to minimize your financial burden after a collision or other covered event.
Beyond Car Insurance
For most accidents and losses, a high-limit car insurance policy can provide adequate coverage for liability and other damages. There are some extreme cases, however, in which liability can climb to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. In these scenarios, umbrella insurance can provide added liability protection to protect you from financial ruin.
For example, imagine causing an accident that injures a surgeon, permanently disabling him and preventing him from ever operating again. He sues you for medical bills and emotional damages, as well as the loss of many years of future income. The damages total $1 million, but you only have $250,000 of individual bodily injury liability coverage. How will you pay the remaining $750,000? Would you have to liquidate a lifetime of savings or make years of payments from future income?
If you had an umbrella policy, your supplemental liability would pick up where your car insurance leaves off. Once you exhaust the limits on your primary coverage, umbrella insurance begins paying for damages up to the limits of your policy. Coverage is highly affordable and in most cases provides an additional $1 million or more in liability protection. It could be what you need to protect your financial future.
For more information about umbrella insurance or the other coverage options available for your policy, contact our office today.