Unfortunately, no car insurance policy can completely eliminate the possibility of being personally sued for damages that exceed your level of auto insurance coverage.
When you purchase a car insurance policy that corresponds to your lifestyle, your financial situation and all your unique needs, you will help minimize the likelihood of getting personally sued.
The right policy will cover the damages (including bodily damage, vehicular damage and property damage) sustained in most accidents. This means that it is even more important to make sure that you have adequate car insurance coverage.
You may even want to consider purchasing an umbrella insurance policy on top of your auto insurance policy.
Read on to learn all about lawsuits, car insurance policies, and why the cheapest car insurance policy might not be the best car insurance policy. Then be sure to enter your zip code above for a free car insurance quote comparison!
The Cheapest Car Insurance May Not be the Best Car Insurance
It is imperative to make sure that your level of car insurance coverage gives you adequate protection in the event of a car accident. The most important element of this protection comes in the form of liability insurance. This is the kind of car insurance that buffers you from the fiscal and legal consequences of a car wreck.
Liability insurance pays for damages to another car, driver or piece of property if you are involved in a wreck.
Most states require drivers to possess a certain level of liability coverage in order to operate a vehicle. This is called the “liability limit,” which describes the ultimate amount an insurer will pay out for an accident. The minimum liability limit enforced by many states is as low as $15,000.
If you are insured at the state minimum and find yourself in a serious accident in which you caused damages far exceeding $15,000, your entire financial future could be in danger.
This is why it is paramount not to skimp on car insurance, while at the same time not paying excessive premiums for coverage you don’t need. By making a careful decision about exactly what coverage your lifestyle and needs dictate, you will protect yourself from many of the uncertainties that lay ahead.
Liability insurance is split up into bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.
Bodily injury liability insurance covers injuries and death by other parties (not you or anyone on your policy) in an accident for which you were found at fault. It covers your own court costs as well. Property damage liability will protect you from financial disaster if your vehicle causes damages to another person’s property.
As with bodily injury liability, it covers court costs incurred when you are sued.
What You Can Expect from Car Insurance
The right car insurance policy will pay for vehicular damages, medical bills, and property repair when you are found to be at fault in a car accident. You will be responsible only for the deductible, which is the amount you must pay before insurance coverage kicks in.
Your car insurance company will also pay for court costs and representation. If, however, the injuries you caused to another driver were serious or fatal, it is possible that you will be sued for an amount that exceeds your coverage.
In this case, the car insurance company will pay up to your liability limit, while you will be personally responsible for the rest.
A realistic coverage level for the average American, and a level that differs significantly from the minimums required by most states, protects drivers in the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per crash. While the insurance company provides the lawyer, it is the insured’s name that is specified in the lawsuit.
When this “average” driver is sued for half a million dollars total for one accident, for example, he will find himself personally responsible for the $200,000 that remains once the insurance company pays out for the $300,000 liability limit.
Drive Safely to Avoid Getting Personally Sued
Most accidents are the result of errors made by drivers. Frequent causes of accidents include:
- making unsafe lane changes
- ignoring stop signs or lights
Driving attentively and cautiously will help ensure your safety. Making sure you keep your eyes on the road, not on a cell phone, coffee cup or radio dial, will also increase your odds of getting home without trouble.
The safe operation of a vehicle is your number one defense against accidents and lawsuits.
Finding the Right Car Insurance Policy
Since car insurance provides you with the most important form of protection when you are found responsible for a car accident, you want to make sure you are covered fully by a respected insurance provider. To do this, try our online quote comparison tool.
This convenient tool will allow you to choose the policy with the best rates and features for your unique situation. Compare quotes today!