Choosing the Right Car Insurance – The Two Most Important Benefits of Purchase
By Chad Rankin
Many people choose a car insurance policy almost exclusively on price. This is a big mistake. Almost everyone will be involved in at least one car accident in their lives. If you or a family member are injured in a car accident, you better have decent car insurance or you could be regretting the purchase of a cheaper policy for the rest of your life.
The two most important benefits to purchase are full tort and good U benefits (underinsured and uninsured benefits). Every Pennsylvania car insurance policy gives you an option to buy a full or limited tort policy. A limited tort policy is a little cheaper, but it generally limits your recovery to only economic damages. Given that many economic damages are covered by other types of benefits, you may get little to no recovery on a limited tort policy. There are a few exceptions which could change your limited tort coverage into full tort coverage. However, even if one of the exceptions applies, the other driver’s insurance company will often use your limited tort choice as leverage to keep your settlement offers low. You should purchase a full tort policy to cover you and your family.
You should also purchase an adequate amount of underinsured and uninsured benefits. Many insurance agents talk their insureds into waiving or reducing these types of benefits to save some money. Again, this is a big mistake. If the person who caused your accident did not have any insurance, then you most likely could only recover for accident related injuries and damages if you purchased uninsured motorist coverage. The uninsured coverage kicks in when you were hit by someone without insurance or a hit a run driver that cannot be found even though they may have had insurance. Another potentially tragic situation is when you have significant injuries and damages from being hit by someone with the state minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage. For instance, if someone with the state minimum rear-ends you and your injuries and damages total $300,000, then you would only get $15,000 from the person who caused the accident. Technically, you would be entitled to go after their personal assets. However, recovery on someone’s personal assets is a very, very rare circumstance and almost certainly not from someone who could only afford a $15,000 policy. In this case, hopefully you purchased underinsured benefits to kick in when you were hit by somebody who was underinsured (they did not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages). Uninsured and underinsured benefits are necessary to make sure that you protect yourself and your family from the adverse effects of a car accident.