Auto Insurance: How Much Coverage Do You Need?

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It’s an age-old question: How much is enough? When it comes to auto insurance, knowing how much coverage is good enough involves answering questions about your assests, the car you drive, how far you drive, and with whom you drive.

What is the overall value (or your total assets) you need to protect?

You can answer this question fairly easily. If you were involved in an accident, and you were at fault, could you afford to cover the legal costs associated with a lawsuit, as well as the terms of the lawsuit if the court rules against you? Most people can’t afford to—and shouldn’t—leave themselves exposed to the risks of being sued. Auto liability insurance should sufficiently protect you, including assets like your home.

What kind of car do you drive?

If you’re paying down debt on a new, quality vehicle, make sure it’s covered with comprehensive and collision insurance, which is required in Ohio if you finance or lease a car. It’s generally safe to hold less coverage on an older vehicle that you own, and that wouldn’t cost a lot to replace.

How often and how far do you drive?

The more you drive, and the farther you go, the more risk you have of getting into an accident. However, people who don’t drive frequently also run the risk of being hit by an underinsured motorist—or worse, an uninsured driver. Even if you just run your car around town, it’s best to get coverage that equals the worth of the vehicle.

Who commonly drives with you?

If you routinely taxi children or teens around to afterschool activities or participate in a carpool, it’s best to increase liability coverage to take into account those extra passengers.

The bottom line

In Ohio drivers are required to purchase a minimum amount of insurance to cover liability. In fact, you can’t register your car without proof of insurance. However, minimum liability coverage won’t go very far if you are liable for an accident and you don’t have insurance—or enough insurance.

You may owe for expenses for which you’ll have to pay out of pocket for your own car—which may also include health care costs—as well as for damages incurred to the other party’s vehicle or property, and perhaps health care costs, too.

Upcoming changes to auto insurance

The State of Ohio is changing minimum coverage requirements effective December 22, 2013. New minimums require that automobile insurance covers an increase for two components:

  • Bodily injury, or $25,000 per person and a maximum of $50,000 for everyone involved with the accident.
  • Property damage, or $25,000 for property damaged in the accident.

If you’re interested in talking to a local, independent insurance agent who will look out for your best interest, and make sure your auto coverage meets the new state guidelines, contact the Spreng-Smith Agency today! We’re happy to offer auto insurance quotes or talk to you about other insurance needs. We proudly the greater Ashland area.


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