Don Speaks Candidly about Automobile Insurance, Part I Don Speaks Candidly about Automobile Insurance, Part I Transcripts:
Interviewer: Let's talk about car insurance and car accidents. What are some of the things people need to be aware of if they're involved in a car accident?
DK: I think one thing that you brought up that's interesting is people talk about, ''What should I do in terms of buying auto insurance?'' I think it's important for people to realize that there are different aspects to your insurance coverage. If you're ever in an automobile accident, you need to be concerned about how your medical bills are going to be paid, and what coverage you have if someone sues you. There's another end to it, which is, what happens if you are injured, and you need to be suing someone else, and their insurance coverage is inadequate. One of the problems when people buy automobile insurance, especially if you're buying it online... This is why I always recommend people go and talk to someone, if you have a legal problem, talk to a lawyer, if you have a medical problem, talk to a physician, if you have an insurance issue, go and talk to an insurance agent, because it's not always to the insurance company's benefit if people are buying the additional coverage. Most claims come in under $50,000 for no fault coverage. So the majority of the money which the insurance company is investing in protecting people comes under that first layer of coverage. So if you buy additional coverage, which is available, you can buy up to $100,000 more for additional PIP, personal injury protection, and there's even layers you can - well, let's just say that there's $100,000 of coverage that you can purchase additionally, which is pretty standard. It's relatively inexpensive. And it covers you so if you're in an accident and you're catastrophically injured so you can't work, your medical bills are huge, you're in the hospital for two or three months, all those will be covered up to $150,000 worth of coverage. It's relatively cheap to buy this. So people don't frequently think of it - they say ''Well, if I have no fault coverage, I'm fully insured.'' Then you are fully insured as far as the law is concerned, but you're not protecting yourself. Now as far as liability insurance, the minimum liability insurance in the State of New York is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence. What that means is if one person is injured, they can be covered up to $25,000 for pain and suffering. If two or more people are injured, the maximum coverage is $50,000; four people injured, they've got to whack up the $50,000. So if you have what people refer to as full coverage and you've got the 25/50 policy, you're driving outside a loaded weapon and it could shoot back at you at any time, because your personal assets are exposed. So I really advise people, make sure you have as much coverage as you possibly can. And again, the majority of the cost - if you pay a premium, the most expensive insurance to buy is the lover level, because that's where the majority of the accidents are. It's when you buy the higher levels of insurance where you go from, say, $100,000 per person, $300,000 per incident - to go up from there to save $300,000 single limit or $500,000 single limit doesn't cost you all that much more.
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