Summer is quickly approaching and with lower fuel costs, many of us will be hitting the road for vacation. That will mean oil changes, tire rotations, and maybe a tune up to get your car ready for the long miles ahead. However, you probably have not thought to check your auto insurance before you hit the road.
Now is a great time to review your coverages and make sure you are protecting yourself in case of a collision. Insurance does not just protect you if you are at fault for a collision, but it also protects you if someone hits you. Many people overlook the best options on their insurance policy that provide coverage for themselves, their families, and their passengers.
Clients often come in to my office and say that have “full coverage.” They never do. Personally, I hate the term “full coverage” because it implies you have all the coverage you can get. However, you can always get more coverage, and often the best types of coverages are not included in “full coverage.”
Take for example Medical Payments coverage, or “MedPay.” This usually comes in amounts of $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 or $10,000 (although other amounts are available depending on your carrier). MedPay covers your medical expenses if you are injured in a collision – regardless of who is at fault for the crash. If you have health insurance, you can use MedPay to cover deductibles, co-pays, or treatments that your health insurance will not pay. If you do not have health insurance, you can use MedPay to pay your medical bills.
It usually only costs a few dollars more to add MedPay coverage to your insurance. In exchange, you are protected if you are injured in a crash. You will no longer face the risk of having to pay a large deductible for a hospital visit. You will be able to cover deductibles for the physical therapy visits. MedPay even covers your passengers in the car, so they will not have to worry either!
Another area to check when reviewing your coverage is underinsured (UIM) and uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. These coverages protect you if the person that hits you does not have auto insurance, or does not have enough auto insurance to cover your injuries. You can get UM/UIM coverage in up to the same amount as your bodily injury coverage (Arizona State Law requires you carry at least $15,000/$30,000 for bodily injury). I suggest you carry no less than $50,000/$100,000 for Bodily Injury, UM, and UIM.
That coverage means you would have $50,000 to protect yourself if the other driver does not have insurance or enough insurance, and you would have $50,000 to pay another person if you were at fault for the collision. The $100,000 number is the amount of coverage available per collision. So, if you are at fault for a collision and you injure three people, you have up to $100,000 to compensate those three people, with no one person taking more than $50,000.
You can much greater coverage than simply 50/100, and generally it does not cost much to increase that coverage. Do yourself a favor and check your insurance coverage before you leave for your summer road trip. Make sure you are protecting yourself, your passengers, and your family. You’ll be surprised to see how much additional coverage you can get for a relatively small increase in your premiums.
As always, if you have questions, give us a call.