If you are purchasing Auto Liability Insurance in Missouri, we have some advice for you. Our customers ask us all the time what limits we suggest for Auto Liability Insurance. Before we get into our recommendations, let’s get familiar with what some of the terms mean.

Insurance Definitions:

  • Claimant – The other guy.
  • Insured – You.
  • Bodily Injury Liability – This pays for the claimant’s medical expenses and injuries if you are at fault in the accident.

Automobile Liability Insurance Recommendations

  • $250,000/$500,000  (If you’re really paranoid, you can add a $1,000,000 umbrella liability policy to your coverage.)
    • This coverage will pay $250,000 for any one person hurt and $500,000 for the aggregate number of people injured. It will also pay for lost wages, pain,suffering settlements, etc. The claimant can also sue for potential lost wages if the claimant is permanently injured and will be unable to work.
    • The above mentioned liability limit is suggested for anyone with assets to protect–such as a savings or retirement account, a a home or something else of value.
  • $100,000/$300,000  (Probably 80% of the drivers around you are carrying this amount.)    
    • It will pay $100,000 for any one person hurt and $300,000 for the aggregate amount of people injured.

Unfortunately, if you do the hard math, you will probably realize that $100,000 doesn’t go very far if someone is legitimately injured. For some reason, the belief still exists that injured parties will only sue for the amount of coverage that you carry. This is absolutely not true. The company will pay the limit of the liability, and will continue to legally represent you, but you will be personally responsible for the remainder of the settlement. You will get this rather alarming letter. Fortunately for our agency, we have never had an insured at the $100,000/$300,000 limit receive this letter:

Your Insurance Company
123 Midwest Ave.
St. Louis, MO  63146

Mr. C. Unfortunate Consumer
8025 Watson Rd.
St. Louis, MO   63119

We received your summons from the claimant that you forwarded. Your insurance policy with YIC Insurance Company provides a defense and your claim has been referred to your adjuster and she will contact you soon.

Your representation by YIC Insurance is limited to defending the claims that are raised in the complaint.

The claimant is asking for an unspecified amount of damages against you. The Coverage under your policy is limited $100,000 per person injured and up to $300,000 for the aggregate amount of passengers in the claimant’s vehicle. Any damages awarded against you in excess of these limits will be your responsibility.

If you wish, you have the right to retain a personal attorney, at your own expense, to join in representing you.

Your adjuster will require your assistance in preparing your defense. In addition, your defense attorney will prepare you if you are deposed and will defend your deposition. If this case goes to trial, your adjuster will meet with you in advance for a detailed discussion. In the interim, you should not discuss this matter with anyone other than the attorney preparing your defense or representatives of YIC Insurance Company.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Agatha Fairchild

  • $50,000/$100,000
    • $50,000 for one person hurt and $100,000 for the aggregate. This is an archaic bodily injury limit.  Unfortunately, we have had several of our insureds receive the alarming letter mentioned above when carrying the $50,000/$100,000 limit. We, as an agency, strongly disagree with carrying coverage this low and we will only quote this limit as a comparison or as a special request.
  • $25,000/$50,000
    • This is the Missouri minimum amount of coverage that you have to cover to stay legally on the road. It is obviously a very low amount and it usually is only used if there is some sort of problem. Financial problems, DUI or traffic violation problems, etc. It is also the liability limit that you use if you’re only going to buy insurance for a month to get your license plates and then miss the next payment.

Property Damage Liability

$250,000 Property Damage Liability
Pays up to $250,000 for any property damage caused by an at fault accident. This amount of coverage comes in handy when you drive through a store front, the side of a building or you are the last car in a four-car pile-up.

$100,000 Property Damage Liability
This amount is used by 80% of the drivers around you. It is reasonably priced and you can then afford to total two or three other vehicles.

$50,000 Property Damage Liability
This is starting to be an archaic coverage amount. There is the possibility you won’t be able to pay for one new expensive car. It’s not that expensive to raise your property liability to $100,000.

$25,000 Property Damage Liability
Obviously too low. There is not enough coverage to cover even one mid-priced car.

$10,000 Property Damage Liability  (Missouri Minimum)
We won’t even quote this amount.

 

If you have any other questions, give me a call today. Ask for Tom. Or Fill Out Our Easy Form

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