Somewhere around one in four Oklahomans are driving around without car insurance, which is a scary thought. But even more are driving around with inadequate coverage, especially when you consider the number of uninsured motorists on the road and the risk they create.
If you don’t have the right insurance coverage, it could feel like you don’t have insurance at all if you’re in an accident. Here are some things to consider about your automobile coverage.
Save money now but risk losing money later
Over the years, we’ve talked to a lot of clients who ask about ways to reduce their monthly premium. Some people want to reduce their liability coverage or maybe they want to drop comprehensive coverage because their car is older. But the sweetness of a low premium now can’t outweigh the bitterness of insufficient coverage down the road.
If your car is older, some people might advise you to drop full coverage on the vehicle and put that amount toward savings for a new car. But how many people really have the discipline to do that versus spending that money on other little things that come up?
Let’s say your car is worth around $5,000 and you decide to drop full coverage. Then you get hit and your car is totaled. If you had insurance coverage, the payment would likely have been a few thousand dollars toward getting a new car. But if you only have $1,000 saved, it’s really hard to find a reliable car for that amount of money.
Take care of yourself and other people
With one in four drivers in Oklahoma being uninsured, there’s a decent chance that someone who hits you won’t have insurance. If that’s the case, will your automobile policy cover both your car and any medical bills related to the accident?
What happens if the accident is your fault and someone else gets hurt? How would you feel if your insurance policy didn’t cover the necessary car repairs and medical treatment to get that person back to where they were before the accident?
We’ve seen people slash the coverage in their policy to save about $10 per month on their premium. For the cost of a couple fancy coffee drinks per month, you could keep your insurance policy at the higher level and know you’re covered for yourself and anyone else.
Consider all the factors
If you’re using your vehicle for business, keep in mind that most personal auto policies won’t cover your vehicle if its damaged during business use. This happens sometimes with contractors, such as painters or home remodelers. They don’t have a specific business insurance policy on their truck, and then their personal auto policy denies the claim because they were using the truck for business when they rear ended someone.
Another consideration is people who drive for a ride-hailing service like Uber or Lyft. If an accident occurs when a passenger is in your car, you’re liable for that, and your personal policy could deny the claim. Many insurance providers offer an endorsement to your personal policy that extends some commercial policy coverage, and it’s pretty affordable to add that extra protection.
Find the right agent
Your insurance agent should act as a counselor and advisor to you, not simply an order taker. One of the benefits of independent agents is that we have a wide range of policies we can pull from to meet your individual needs, rather than being held captive to the policy limits of one specific company. Yes, the entire insurance industry is sales-driven ultimately, but our goal as an independent agent is to truly analyze and understand your risk and then provide a policy that covers your needs.
Want to review your current auto policy coverage to ensure it’s adequate for your needs? Contact us today to start the discussion.