How Paying For Less Coverage Could Cost You More

BY: JOE THOMPSON | Personal Lines Advisor

For many individuals, insurance may simply seem like one more background element in their lives. Clients pay their policies each month and hope that they will never have to actually make use of them. Clients can go years without making claims and develop a sense of security that may lead to the decision to pay for low-to-state-minimum coverage for auto, homeowner, renter and other policies. For those who have never had to make a claim, however, I will explain why it is much more beneficial to raise your level of coverage. The answers, when laid out, may provide the incentive to contact an insurance advisor and see what policy may be most effective.

Vehicle and medical costs are too high to risk
In Indiana, state minimum auto coverage equips all drivers with liability limits for bodily injury of $25,000 per person, with a limit of $50,000 in the event of multiple injuries. Property damage from an accident extends up to $10,000. In the United States, the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is roughly $30,000, without taking long-term situations such as physical rehabilitation and therapy into account. With one unfortunate auto accident, the cost incurred onto drivers state minimum coverage can result in tens of thousands of dollars in debt; debt that can be garnished from wages, and place the underinsured into a vicious cycle of debt that can be incredibly difficult to break out of.

Anything can happen to your home
A home is one of the most significant financial investments most people will make in their lifetime, and you owe yourself the security of a level of insurance coverage that will protect your financial future, should the worst happen. From natural disasters to electrical fires, there are any number of disasters that could be waiting to happen, depending on location and other variables. One bad occurrence could leave a home damaged or destroyed, and also leave you as the owner in deep debt as you attempt to rectify the situation. I typically recommend at least $300,000 worth of base coverage to homeowners, and while rates may vary based on variables such as location, income level, credit scores, or regional weather patterns, Conner’s access to over 10 carriers means that I will be able to find the optimal coverage for you. Homeowner’s insurance may seem too expensive to some, but with the right carrier it is an affordable investment to protect one of your most valuable assets.

An umbrella to keep you safe in a sue-happy world
The reality in our day and age is that if an accident happens and you’re liable, you may be sued for an amount of money that your normal insurance policies either cannot or will not be able to cover. However, when ordinary policies are not enough, an umbrella can act as a catch-all for costs incurred from legal action. The costs of a large lawsuit could be too large to sustain, and the hardships that one could incur is disturbing to think about at best. Umbrellas, when properly handled, can be very affordable and also ensure financial safety should a lawsuit occur. I recommend $1 million for my clients, as that is typically enough to cover costs in most instances. Insurance on specific aspects of life (auto, home, etc.) is vitally important, but having a catch-all backup policy is the final piece in effective and responsible total coverage.

Focusing on the harsh financial realities that could occur after an accident is not a pleasant thought.

However, as someone dedicated to considering these variables and providing clients with the counseling and coverage options that will keep them secure, it is important to have an honest dialogue about what needs to happen to ensure that life can go on in the event of unfortunate incidents. By facing that dialogue openly, our agency can work to secure true piece of mind for clients, and make life feel freer, easier and most importantly, safer.

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