Two "Must-Have" Insurance Coverages in Hard Times
Auto insurance is baffling to a lot of people. So many coverages exist that deciding which kinds to buy can be confusing. For your safety, I'd rather you make decisions about your coverage now. When you have a wreck, it's already too late to buy it. I represent injured people against careless drivers who hurt them and destroy their vehicles. It's what I do all day, every day. So in the years that I've represented thousands of car and truck wreck victims, I've learned about the best types of coverage for protection.
In these hard financial times, two kinds of auto insurance are in the must-have category. Going without them can be more costly in the long run than buying them now. The two essential coverages are UM and GAP. The letters stand for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and guaranteed auto protection. Why is it so important to have them now? Because more and more car owners are driving without any auto insurance or with inadequate insurance. They can't afford to buy it. So when they hit you, unless they're financially well off, you're not likely to get enough money for your injuries or for car replacement. It's not a nice situation to be hurt, not be able to work due to the injuries, and watch the bills piling up on your table. And the loan company to which you owe more than the car was worth is yelling for its money.
Your next question is likely to be: How could these coverages help me? When you buy bodily injury or BI coverage, you do it to protect your assets in case you hurt someone else. In Florida, if you don't sign a written rejection of UM coverage, you automatically have it in the same amount as your BI coverage. So if the other driver didn't buy bodily injury coverage and hurts you, your own uninsured motorist coverage (remember the other driver is uninsured) steps in, takes the place of the insurance the at-fault driver should have bought, and pays you. It pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It works similarly if the other driver didn't buy enough BI coverage to pay the full value of your injuries. Never reject UM coverage when you're buying car insurance.
Now, let's switch to GAP insurance. If your new car, which is financed, is destroyed, say 10 minutes after your drive off the dealer's lot, you've just lost a lot of money. As you drove away, it depreciated by 20-30 percent, because it became a used car. You now owe more to the finance company than it's worth. GAP coverage will pay the difference in the used value of the car, which your insurance would pay to you, and the amount financed. Don't leave home without GAP coverage on new or nearly new vehicles. Get and keep these two important coverages, uninsured motorist and GAP, especially now that the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers has increased.