Brush Up On Your Basics Part I
Happy New Year and welcome to 2018! It’s that time again, time for fresh starts and resolutions. We want to start this year off with a new series – Brush up on your Basics. We’ve designed a four-part blog series meant to help explain some basic auto and home insurance concepts. We will start the series off with educating you on some essential auto coverages that are the framework for your policy.
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage –Helps to pay for the medical expenses of another person(s) injured by an accident you caused. There are a variety of options available for this coverage. This is one of the most important coverages on an auto policy because it provides a line of defense for you and your assets.
To help explain this further, we will take a look at the Colorado minimum requirement for Bodily Injury which is $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident – commonly seen as $25,000/$50,000. Let’s apply this to a situation so we can understand it a little better. Say you were in an accident with another vehicle you were found to be at fault and have caused injuries to the two passengers in another car. The individuals were rushed to the hospital and between their broken arms and sore necks the driver racked up a $15,000 hospital bill and the passenger racked up a $20,000 bill. Your policy as is will pay up to $25,000 per person Luckily, in this case both driver and passenger’s injuries have not exceeded our maximum. No problem, right? Well, let’s take another look. Perhaps there were four people in the car you struck. The driver has a $15,000 bill, passenger number one has a $20,000 bill and passenger three and four both have $35,000 in bills each. Now we are in trouble. For one, your policy will only pay up to $25,000 per person so passengers three and four are already $15,000 over what your policy will cover. Secondly, your policy isn’t going to pay over $50,000 overall for the whole accident. We are looking at $105,000 in bodily injury for this accident, you are now on the hook for $55,000. If you don’t have the liquid funds to cover this difference your assets are at risk. The costs for higher limits are negligible compared to the security of better coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Comparable to the bodily injury liability limits this coverage helps to pay for your injuries that were caused by the fault of another driver. This coverage kicks in when the at-fault driver either has no or insufficient coverage for the injuries they caused to you. This is also very important as it is estimated that roughly 13% of Colorado drivers are uninsured.
Property Damage – This covers the cost of damage done to vehicles or other property due to an accident caused by you. The Colorado state minimum for property damage coverage is $25,000. Let’s circle back to our accident example, you caused an accident, and not only did you injure four people but now the $30,000 vehicle the other party was driving has been totaled and you somehow managed to take out a $2,000 lamppost and $10,000 fence. The maximum that your policy will cover is $25,000 white the total amount of property damage for the accident is $42,000. You are now in the hole for $17,000 of property damage which again will leave your assets at risk. This is stacking up to be a costly mistake.
Medical Payments Coverage – While bodily injury liability coverage is for injuries to the other party, medical payments coverage is for injuries to you and your passengers. This coverage will pay out regardless of who is at fault. It can help cover medical or funeral expenses, ambulance fees, surgery and even x-rays.
We always want to make sure that our clients are educated and comfortable with the level of protection their policy provides. As an agency we always recommend limits higher than state minimums to safeguard you, your family and your assets. If you are concerned about your coverage and would like to discuss your options give our service team a call at 720-283-1722.
We are committed to providing you with the best price, protection and service on the market.
Special Note- These examples are for reference only. All claims will be subject to your individual policy terms and conditions. These examples will not change or amend any insurance policy.