Is Insurance Worth the Extra Expense?


Recently I had a conversation with a gentleman who explained to me how he had spent thousands of dollars on car insurance without ever making a claim. He expressed his disappointment in having to pay so much for insurance with no reward. He went on to say that he now has a lot less insurance because he can afford to pay the extra expense if he causes an accident and his low limits do not cover all the damage.

Most states have laws requiring drivers to have a minimum amount of insurance or some type of bond. If you have extra money that you can spend on things like insurance claims then maybe getting the minimum is not a terrible idea. But make sure you understand the costs involved in an accident.

When getting quotes for clients, I run reports that have their claim history. One particular gentleman had a $70,000 bodily injury claim with no other damages incurred. I asked the client what exactly happened. He explained that while he was driving down the street someone decided to jaywalk directly in front of his vehicle. Even though he was not at fault, his insurance company paid out $70,000 to the jaywalker. The Nevada state minimum for bodily injury is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Do you have an extra $55,000 to cover an accident like this?

If that gentleman did not have the insurance to cover this expense, he could have been financially ruined. If he were sued, maybe he could have won in court. But he would still have to pay his lawyers. He would also have to miss time off work to deal with the situation. That extra stress and expense is not something you want in your life.

The example above involves one other person. Imagine an accident involving a full Suburban. That could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you have an extra $500,000 in the bank and some good lawyers, the state minimums might be a good way to go. Otherwise, I would recommend protecting yourself against the unknown with more than the state minimums.

The state minimum liability insurance in Nevada is the following: Bodily Injury – $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident; Property Damage – $10,000. Unfortunately, the minimums are often times insufficient to pay for even simple fender benders. Running into the back of someone’s vehicle can break someone’s back and, if it’s a newer model vehicle, can cause much more property damage than $10,000.

Obviously, avoiding accidents would be the ideal solution. Unfortunately, we cannot always predict what is going to happen on the road. Protecting yourself with a sufficient amount of car insurance for your needs is essential. State minimum pricing may be appealing, but make sure it will be enough to cover you in a time of need.

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