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Food for Thought When Purchasing Automobile Insurance

Food for Thought When Purchasing Automobile Insurance

Purchasing automobile insurance is a crucial step as a motor vehicle owner and operator. Although purchasing automobile insurance is not as exciting as buying an automobile, it is equally, if not more, important. Making sure you have adequate automobile insurance is extremely important to ensuring you and your family are protected in case of an automobile incident.

You may be thinking there is not much to consider when buying automobile insurance and how important can it actually be. If you are having those thoughts, think again. Acquiring automobile insurance and making sure you have adequate insurance to meet you and your family’s needs is critical and may have a huge impact on your life. Below are some aspects to think about when purchasing automobile insurance or contemplating on changing your coverages.

The amounts and types of coverages you purchase are important. As a baseline, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have state minimum insurance coverages you need to purchase. For instance, there are state minimum insurance coverages you will need to maintain to cover you if you are in a collision. Those state minimums are as follows:

  1. Ohio
    1. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $25,000.00 per person/$50,000.00 per accident.
    2. Property Damage Coverage: $25,000.00.
  2. Pennsylvania
    1. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $15,000.00 per person/$30,000.00 per accident.
    2. Property Damage Coverage: $5,000.00.
  3. West Virginia
    1. Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: $25,000.00 per person/$50,000.00 per accident.
    2. Property Damage Coverage: $25,000.00.

As you can tell, depending on the state, the state minimum insurance coverages required are different. Bear in mind that the above coverages are only the minimums and you have the ability to purchase more coverage. By purchasing more than the minimum insurance coverages, you protect yourself to a greater extent if you end up causing a motor vehicle collision as you will have larger policy limits.

Next, you should contemplate purchasing Uninsured Motorist Coverage (“UM”) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UIM”). Put simply, UM coverage protects you when you are in a collision with an uninsured driver and UIM coverage provides coverage to you when you are in a collision with a driver who does not maintain enough insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. Purchasing UM and UIM coverage is important because you never know if, and when, you are going to be involved in a collision and what levels of insurance the at-fault individual will maintain. Also, if you are involved in a violent motor vehicle collision, UM/UIM coverage could potentially come into play depending on the circumstances.

Also, you should think about purchasing medical payments coverage. Medical payments coverage is a coverage you can purchase to assist you in paying for medical expenses following a motor vehicle collision. Depending on the state could dictate if medical payments coverage is required. For instance, medical payments coverage is not required in Ohio and West Virginia, but in Pennsylvania you are required to have a minimum of $5,000.00 (First Party Benefits/PIP/medical payments coverage).

As you can tell, there is a lot to think about when purchasing automobile insurance. At the end of the day, people are in different situations and there is not a one-size fits all approach to figuring out what types and amounts of coverage you need. Take your time and think critically when you looking into your automobile insurance coverages to determine what is best for you.

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