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HOW MUCH AUTO INSURANCE SHOULD YOU HAVE?
Here’s the short answer: AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AFFORD!
How can you protect yourself? First, immediately take a look at your insurance coverage. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who see me about motorcycle or car wrecks who do not know the amounts of their coverage. You should have a minimum of $100,000/$300,000. More if you can afford it. How does that work if you are in an accident? If you are hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence and they only have the minimum coverage of $25,000/$50,000, then you could recover up to an additional $75,000 for your proven damages. The converse would be true if you negligently injured someone else. You can also protect yourself and your assets by purchasing an umbrella policy that kicks in when your auto coverage is exhausted. If you cause an accident and the other driver/injured party proves damages over your auto policy, then the umbrella protects you. I personally have a $1 million umbrella. I know what you are thinking: “No way can I afford that million- dollar policy.” Fortunately, it doesn’t cost much to purchase the additional protection. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “For about $150–$300 per year, you can buy a $1 million personal umbrella liability policy. The next million will cost about $75, and $50 for every million after that.” Some companies require a minimum of $250,000 in coverage to purchase that additional amount. Protect yourself and your loved ones! Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage. Feel free to call me at 423-267- 6715 if you have any questions about your coverage. 1 423-267-6715 | TNDUIAttorney.com –Johnny Houston
The reason to buy insurance is so that you can be protected if and when you are involved in an accident, whether you are injured by someone else’s negligence or you injure someone else. What most people don’t realize is that if they are in an accident, the insurance company will never pay out more than the amount of the coverage that has been purchased, nor are they legally obligated to do so. The state of Tennessee mandates that all drivers have insurance coverage in the minimum amounts of $25,000 per person with a $50,000 total. (Of course, very often, people drive with no coverage whatsoever.) What this means is that if you are found to be at fault in an accident, your insurance company will pay $25,000 per person up to a maximum of $50,000. So, if someone sues you and the jury awards one person in the accident $100,000, then you are on the hook for the additional $75,000. Conversely, if you are in an accident in which someone else is at fault, and they only have the minimum coverage, the most you can recover is $25,000! But wait, you think, “I also have minimum coverage. Can’t we just stack my coverage on top of the other person’s?” In Tennessee, the answer is a resounding no. Our legislature, in its wisdom (and I am certain due to the lobbying of the insurance industry), has passed legislation that limits your recovery to $25,000. They are always looking out for us working people, right? In an accident with significant injuries, medical costs will often exceed $25,000 after the first day in the hospital, especially if you’re injured while riding a motorcycle!
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