This week’s question comes from Alex in San Bruno: “I want to buy a new car. What does ‘full insurance coverage’ mean?
Alex, thank you for your question. Buying automobile insurance unfortunately can be a time-consuming and confusing process. Minor traffic collisions are a financial drain and hassle. Major auto collisions can be financially and physically devastating. It’s vital that all drivers be fully insured. I am glad to help you understand what this means.
“Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance” is one of the most important, least expensive, yet often overlooked forms of auto insurance. It protects you, your family, and your passengers from mistakes by other drivers.
If you get hit by someone who has no insurance or inadequate insurance, this insurance picks up the difference, to the level of your coverage. You should always buy the highest coverage you can reasonably afford. Many Californians drive without insurance or only own minimum liability insurance policies and have no other assets. Through no fault of your own, you could be financially devastated following a serious car crash.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage will compensate you for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and your physical and emotional pain and suffering. Uninsured/underinsured coverage even provides protection if a careless car driver injured you or a close family member while walking, riding a bicycle, or just standing on the sidewalk.
“Medical payments insurance” covers medical costs if you are injured in an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Even if you have health insurance, medical payments insurance is worth purchasing as it can cover any health insurance deductibles. Medical payments insurance can also assist any injured passengers, particularly if they do not have health insurance.
Hopefully Alex you will never need your auto insurance, but it is too late to think about full coverage after an accident has occurred. Shop around and purchase the most comprehensive insurance policy you can afford. I personally recommend Linda Williams of State Farm Insurance in San Francisco at 415-641-1655. Linda has been my broker for 25 years and is very knowledgeable about all things insurance.