Have you ever wondered why you might need certain auto insurance liability coverage? For example, recently, there were two pedestrian fatalities which occurred on January 24th (a woman) and the other incident which occurred three weeks ago (a man) on Bellevue Avenue in Newport. On each occasion, they were crossing on the cross walk and were hit by drivers of pick-up trucks who claimed they didn’t see the victims. The drivers were let go and not charged with anything. However, what if you were behind the wheel at the scene of a devastating accident? It seems like a frightening, and almost impossible thought, but think about it for a minute. What type of car insurance would you want to have? Say the person you hit didn’t die but sustained serious injuries. Do you begin to save up three to five years of your salary to pay? Or would you rather have to pay more on your premiums and have your insurance pay the medical bill? What if in the process of hitting the person, you swerve into a building or their house? The bottom line: You need Rhode Island auto insurance liability. Car insurance is your first line of defense if you cause a serious or fatal car accident.
In these instances, you would need Bodily Injury Liability and property damage liability. They don’t pertain to any injuries or damage done to you or your property, but at this point, salvaging your well-being is not at the forefront of the situation. Salvaging your wallet and the well-being of the other party is. Bodily Injury Liability will cover any bodily injury expenses of the victim (up to the insurance limit you paid for). Usually, this will use the “Split Limits” method where if you agreed to a $100,000/$300,000 deal, the first figure would take care of the injuries of one person if they were the only victim. The second number, however, would take care of the expenses for all the victims if there was more than one person injured. In the RI minimum Bodily Injury Liability requirement,—by law—is $25,000/$50,000. Nonetheless, several attorneys would say that even an amount such as $100,000/$300,000 would not suffice. The more assets you own, such as a home or business, the higher the amount of coverage you should consider buying.
Bodily Injury Liability covers the injuries you cause to a person whereas the second part of your auto insurance liability policy includes Property Damage Liability. Property Damage Liability covers the things (not persons) that you happen to drive into and damage, such as a car, a house, a fence, a pole… use your imagination here. This coverage uses the “Single Limit” listed on your policy, meaning that if you have $50,000 in coverage, the property that you damage is covered up to $50,000. Obviously if you hit a house or an $85,000 Mercedes, you are left underinsured.
If you feel your policy limits of these two coverages are not enough auto insurance liability protection for you, consider umbrella insurance which will cover additional needs. However, it requires that you have certain liability limits on your auto insurance before you qualify. Obviously the last thing you would want to do is get into an accident and potentially kill someone and having the proper accident coverage will be crucial. Reckless driving also increases your insurance premium, so be sure to drive safe and speak to your teen driver about driving safety. If you have any questions, be sure to call us or stop by!