This post is part two of the blog post that answers the question “How much car insurance is enough?”
Compensation for Harm You Cause Others
Millions of people go to hospitals every year for accident-related injuries. In Wisconsin, at-fault drivers are legally and financially responsible for the injuries they cause, as well as any related costs; this can include medical bills, rehabilitative costs, emotional distress damages, lost wages, and even punitive damages for drivers who exhibited neglect in causing the accident. Bodily injury liability insurance is designed to compensate injured victims and protect your personal income and assets against possible litigation.
Wisconsin mandates that all drivers to have at least the minimum bodily injury liability limits required by law, but those limits are typically insufficient for protecting against a major claim. If your limits are too low, you are personally responsible for any unpaid damages, which could be compensated through asset liquidation and wage garnishment. At Gutman Insurance, we recommend purchasing high-limit liability protection to preserve your current and future wealth.
Split Limits vs. Combined Single Limit (CSL)
There are two different types of limits available for bodily injury liability coverage – combined single limits (CSL) and split limits. A combined single limit is a single number on your policy that represents the amount of money in thousands that your insurer will pay toward bodily injury liability claims per accident. If your policy shows a 300 CSL, it means you have $300,000 of total bodily injury liability coverage.
A split limit is more restrictive in how funds are allocated. Split limits have two different numbers. The first is the amount of money in thousands available to each victim in an accident. The second number is the amount in thousands the insurer will pay for the injuries of all victims combined. If your insurance shows a 250/500 split, it means you have up to $250,000 of coverage per individual and up to $500,000 total bodily injury coverage per accident.
Money to Protect You and Your Passengers against Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
It is illegal and irresponsible to drive without car insurance, but that does not stop more than 11 percent of Wisconsin drivers from doing it. Uninsured motorist protection (UI) allows you to take matters into your own hands, ensuring you and your passengers have coverage if you are injured by an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run. We also offer underinsured motorist protection (UIM) to take care of damages more than an at-fault driver’s low liability coverage limits.
Money to Help with the Little Things
An accident can cost you much more than just your deductible. In many cases, there are also towing charges, as well as the cost of renting a car while your vehicle is repaired. If you or your passengers are injured, you might also have medical co-pays and health insurance deductibles to cover. Why pay out-of-pocket if you don’t have to? Talk to an agent here at Gutman Insurance about adding medical payments coverage, as well as additional protection for the ‘little things.’
Beyond Car Insurance
Though not part of your car insurance policy, umbrella insurance is a very important type of coverage that works hand-in-hand with the liability protection your car insurance provides. An umbrella policy is supplementary liability protection that extends your liability coverage when you reach the maximum limits on your primary coverage. For example, if you have $250,000 in bodily injury liability coverage but are sued for $1 million, your car insurance would pay the first $250,000, and your umbrella policy could pick up the remaining $750,000 – all without touching your personal income or assets.
Many drivers are surprised to find out how affordable umbrella insurance can be. With coverage that typically ranges between $1-6 million, we strongly urge our customers to consider adding an umbrella policy to their insurance portfolios. For more information or to find out how an umbrella policy could protect your future income and assets, contact our office today.