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
Post-accident damages are not always limited to your vehicle and other people’s property. If there are victims involved, you could also be held responsible for compensation of injuries. Here in Wisconsin, drivers must carry bodily injury liability insurance, but the minimum coverage limits are typically too low to protect against a major lawsuit. At Reis Insurance, our primary focus is ensuring our River Falls area customers have adequate limits that minimize financial risk vulnerability following a collision or other covered accident.
Bodily injury claims can total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Add to that the cost of any punitive damages you may have to pay due to negligence behind the wheel, and a single lawsuit could become much more than just a financial setback. Fortunately, bodily injury liability insurance covers damages caused by accident-related injuries, such as medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress compensation, and more. This coverage pays first up to the limits of your policy, minimizing any potential impact on your personal finances.
Without adequate coverage, you could be responsible for any damages that exceed the limits of your policy, ultimately putting your income, assets, and savings at risk. It will not matter to the victim or a jury if you were only partially responsible for the accident or if you caused a collision due to bad weather or a blown tire. The only thing that matters is that the accident happened and you are responsible for the injuries.
Split Limits vs. Combined Single Limit (CSL)
Insurers provide bodily injury insurance coverage in two different ways: combined single limits and split limits. Combined single limits, or CSL, are expressed as a single number on your insurance policy. This means that the bodily injury coverage available is limited per accident – not per individual. A 300 CSL would provide up to $300,000 in total available bodily injury liability protection regardless of the number of victims.
A split limit differs from a CSL in that it provides a maximum total liability limit as well as an individual limit. Split limits are listed as two separate numbers that indicate in thousands the maximum amount the insurer will pay toward a bodily injury claim. A 250/500 split, for example, provides for $250,000 maximum coverage per person with up to $500,000 total available coverage combined per accident.
Money to Protect You and Your Passengers against Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
If an uninsured driver hits you, getting compensated for your injuries could be a challenge. Likewise, you could have trouble recovering your medical bills and other losses if the at-fault driver has too little insurance to cover your expenses. One of the most important steps you can take to protect you and your passengers is adding uninsured motorist (UI) and underinsured motorist (UIM) protection to your policy. UI takes care of you and your passengers if you are a victim of a driver who is uninsured. UIM helps fill in the gaps left behind if the at-fault driver has too little coverage to meet your needs.
Money to Help with the Little Things
Accidents can leave you broke – even if you have plenty of physical damages and liability protection. It’s easy to overlook the ‘little things,’ such as towing charges, medical deductibles, co-pays, and the cost of renting a car while your vehicle is repaired. Instead of losing hundreds of dollars on small expenses, talk to one of our team members about personalizing your coverage to better fit your needs.
Beyond Car Insurance
Your car insurance can go a long way in protecting you against unexpected losses, but sometimes even the highest coverage limits can stop short of your liability after a serious collision. Traumatic injuries, fatalities, and accidents with multiple victims can all contribute to major judgments and court awards. To better protect your assets, we recommend purchasing an umbrella policy that will supplement your primary coverage. Umbrella insurance builds upon the limits of your car insurance liability, extending it by up to $1 million or more. This affordable coverage could protect you against financial ruin – especially after a major accident. For more information and to find out if umbrella insurance could be right for you, contact our office today.