How Much Car Insurance Do I Need

June 18, 2011

Insurance

Insuring your vehicle is not just a legal necessity. It is also just plain good sense. Unfortunately, car insurance is fairly expensive and what a plan does and doesn’t cover isn’t always obvious to the untrained eye. Therefore, to ensure that you the best possible protection for your dollar, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

You do not want to pay for something that’s unnecessary, of course. But how do you determine how much car insurance you really need? Nearly all states require a certain minimum amount of coverage. State minimum coverage is the very least you can get away with while still being able to drive legally, and it is generally the least expensive package to purchase. Least expensive is not always the best idea, though. If something happens, you may find that you’re in a lot of hot water and your state minimum coverage just isn’t enough.

A state minimum plan generally covers personal injury if you should be in an accident, as well as medical costs for your passengers and the other motorists involved in the accident, repair fees, attorney fees, and sometimes even monetary compensation for pain and suffering. The limits on these are often too low to do you any good, though, unless you have a very small income and no assets to speak of. For example, if you find yourself in an accident where you are responsible for the damage done to the other motorist’s car, your minimum coverage might only extend to half the cost of a new car. In order to avoid paying thousands of dollars out of pocket, you should aim for at least $25,000 in property damages coverage.

You’ll also want coverage that will get you a new set of wheels in the event of an accident. How much you decide to get, however, depends on how much your car is worth. If the car is worth under $5000, the insurance payments are likely going to be too high to make it worth it for you. Even if you total that car completely, it’ll be less expensive to just replace it in comparison to the premiums, and if the accident was the other guy’s fault, his insurance is the insurance that’s going to get you taken care of.

All in all, how much car insurance you need depends on how much your car is worth and how much you can afford. Shop around to find the best coverage at the best price, and you’ll feel much safer being out there on the roads.

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