Attorney Ben Schwartz gives his thoughts to a viewer in Havertown, Pennsylvania about buying more auto insurance than he needs.
I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we’re going to take a viewer question. This is from Glenn in Havertown, Pennsylvania. Glenn wrote-in, he said that he heard a Safe Auto radio ad about people buying more auto insurance than they need. Essentially, the ad said you should call Safe Auto because you may be buying more insurance than you need, and they can save you money by reducing the amount of insurance that you have. “Is it even possible to buy more auto insurance than you need?”
I think that is a wonderful question, Glenn. I really appreciate your writing-in with it and I have to tell you that it depends on why you’re buying auto insurance. If you don’t care about what happens after an auto accident, you don’t care about getting your medical bills paid, you don’t care about coverage for personal injuries, you don’t care about whether your lost wages get paid, you don’t really care if your car gets fixed or not, if you don’t care about any of that, and you’re solely trying to meet state minimum insurance standards, then I suppose maybe you could buy more auto insurance than you really need.
The truth of the matter is, I don’t really care about minimum auto insurance limits. My suggestion is that you never buy the minimum insurance limits. My suggestion is that if you’re looking to protect yourself and your family, you should buy the maximum available coverage that the insurance company will sell you, within reason. In other words, within your ability to pay that premium. If you can afford a one-hundred thousand dollar insurance policy and it doesn’t cause you to be unable to put food on the table, it doesn’t cause you to be unable to pay the rent or the mortgage, that’s worth considering. If you can afford to buy a million-dollar insurance policy or a million-dollar umbrella insurance policy, that is worth considering as well.
What you have to understand is that insurance is there to protect you. The insurance is there to pay your medical expenses after a catastrophic accident. The insurance is there to cover your lost wages while you’re unable to work after a catastrophic accident. The insurance is there to pay your family in the case of your demise from a catastrophic accident. The insurance isn’t really there for mundane everyday problems. You get a scratch on your bumper and you want to go to the body shop and get it fixed, that’s something you may be able to afford to pay out of pocket. You don’t buy insurance to cover something you’re able to afford to pay out of pocket. You buy insurance to cover the real catastrophes that could happen.
So, in my book, as a personal injury attorney who constantly handles automobile accident personal injury claims, no absolutely not, you cannot buy too much insurance. It’s just a balancing act between what you can reasonably afford in the form of a premium versus how much you can obtain in the way of coverage. Here’s my offer to you, email me when you buy your auto policy, they will give you a declarations page. If you would like me to review your declarations page, look at the amount of coverage that you have, and give you some pointers on what coverage exists, what coverage may be meaningful for you and important for you in the case of an accident, send me an email and attach your declaration page, I’ll be more than happy to take a look at it.
You’ve got a case, and your case is worth $75,000, the at-fault driver has insurance, but they’ve only got $25,000, who makes up the difference? Well, if you purchased a significant uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist policy, your insurance company may make up the difference. These are important insurance coverages and you should understand your rights when it comes to insurance coverage and your limitations when it comes to the insurance policy you bought. In no event in my imagination could anyone ever overbuy insurance coverage. It’s a fake problem made up by the insurance company to try and sell people minimum insurance policies at the lowest cut-rate that they can. Don’t believe the hype, contact a personal injury lawyer in your jurisdiction if you have questions about your auto insurance coverage. Get a free consultation and understand what you’re doing when you buy this insurance. That way you are protected, and your family is protected in case of an accident.
Glenn, thank you very much for the question. I’m attorney Ben Schwartz, if you have a question for me, feel free to send me an email.