The best auto insurance coverage costs less than the state required minimum amount of insurance protection
Here’s why you should choose the best automobile insurance policy for you and your family’s protection.
- One in five Indiana drivers are on the road without insurance (WRTV.com)
- There are nearly 350,000 suspended drivers in Indiana
- Suspended drivers are almost four times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash
- Over 50 % of court cases in Johnson County are for driving while suspended
- Over ⅓ of unlicensed drivers leave the scene of a fatal crash (AAAFoundation.org)
Consider this — 1 in 5 Indiana drivers are uninsured.
Indiana law requires licensed drivers to purchase a minimum amount ($25,000/$50,000) of auto liability insurance coverage. The penalty for not obtaining the policy is license suspension. A report from the Insurance Research Council estimates that in 2009, 16 percent of Indiana drivers were uninsured, that’s approximately 1 in every 6.25 drivers. Today, 20% of Indiana drivers, or 1 out of every 5 cars on the road, is being operated without any kind of automobile liability insurance coverage. The growth of uninsured drivers may be due in large part to the economic downturn and sadly, we may see a further increase in the future. With that in mind, it’s a pretty safe bet that insuring yourself and your family for a potential automobile injury caused solely by an uninsured driver is as important as putting your savings in an FDIC insured bank or buying a homeowners insurance policy that will pay full-replacement-value in case of a total loss.
Is a minimum policy enough to protect my family after an accident with a negligent driver?
Under minimum coverage, the first figure ($25,000) represents the limits a single party who was not-at-fault may potentially recover from defendant’s insurance company; the latter denotes the total amount defendant’s insurance company might pay to all injured parties combined when more than one party has been injured, excluding the policy holder/negligent driver. All automobile liability policies sold in Indiana must also include uninsured/underinsured coverage equal to the amount of liability coverage — unless the insured rejects this coverage in writing.
The following examples demonstrates how a claim for damages and losses might be made against your underinsurance policy if the negligent driver has only the minimum amount of liability insurance.
Example1: If you alone sustain severe or catastrophic injuries in a vehicular accident, through no fault of your own, and the other solely responsible driver has minimal coverage, your attorney will initially demand to settle your claim for the limits of defendant’s policy — in this case, $25,000. If your losses and damages are greater than defendant’s minimal policy and you have underinsurance coverage greater than defendant’s liability policy, your attorney may seek as much as the difference between your policy limits and the limits paid by defendant’s insurance. The difference is the maximum amount you might potentially obtain. You may never receive, in total, more than the limits of your own policy in a claim involving underinsurance.
Example2: If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, and you yourself have the minimal legal insurance, the highest amount of compensation you may receive for your personal injuries under your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage, is $25,000. According to New Choice Health.com, a single spinal MRI can cost as much as $8,500.00. How far will the limits of your uninsured liability policy stretch when a single standard procedure costs more than one-third of your uninsured settlement?
Protect your family by purchasing the largest amount of liability insurance you can afford.
After the $25,000 limits of defendant’s policy have been met and payment has been made solely for your injuries, damages and losses, your attorney may seek additional compensation if your situation warrants, from the underinsured portion of your automobile liability policy. Remember, your attorney is only able to seek further compensation if your liability policy is greater than defendant’s policy limits.
For example, from your $100,000/$300,000 underinsured policy limits, you may be eligible to recover as much as $75,000 ($100,000 less $25,000 paid by defendant insurance.)
How much does insurance cost?
Not so surprisingly, the cost per unit of insurance goes down as you purchase more units. Many agents will quote a policy price by inquiring as to how much insurance you carry at this time. I recommend you do a cost comparison of several policies, i.e. 25/50, 100/300 or 250/500. See Ward & Ward Law Firm’s cost analysis for units of insurance.
Your personal injury attorney is here to help you.
Ward & Ward Law Firm has more than 85 years of combined experience helping injured people put back together the pieces of their lives after a traumatic accident involving a motorized vehicle or the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, please call today for a free consultation at 800-639-9501.
By Charlie Ward