How much car insurance coverage do I need?

While the phrase “less is more” may be true when you’re decorating or accessorizing, when it comes to auto insurance, more is less: the more coverage you have, the less it will cost you if you get in an accident. While there’s no hard and fast rule about how much car insurance coverage you should have, most states require that you carry only a minimum level of auto insurance coverage.

However, be aware that most auto insurance companies advise against carrying only your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements. Why? Because if you’re involved in a serious accident, the costs will significantly exceed your auto insurance coverage— making you liable for thousands of dollars out of your own pocket! Don’t skimp on your auto insurance coverage. You’ll need it to protect you if you’re ever involved in an accident.

So, how much auto insurance coverage is adequate? The amount of auto insurance coverage you need depends on a variety of factors. Some factors you should consider when you buy auto insurance coverage include:

  • Your appetite for risk — If you don’t like taking risks, your auto insurance coverage should reflect that with high coverage limits and low auto insurance deductibles.
  • Risks associated with where you live — Do you live among wildlife, or are fender benders a common occurrence where you live? If so, beef up on your coverage.
  • Your vehicle — If you have a brand new vehicle, you may want to increase your auto insurance coverage to protect your investment in the event you’re involved in an accident.
  • Your assets —The more assets you have, the more auto insurance coverage you need to protect them.
  • Your passengers — Do you regularly have young passengers in your vehicle? If so, get auto insurance coverage to protect them should you be involved in an accident.

After an accident, especially a serious one, the last thing you want to worry about is how much it’s going to cost you. Adequate car insurance coverage will make the process that much easier. Typically, higher limits cost only a few dollars more. And if you have an accident, you’ll thank yourself for investing in additional auto insurance coverage.

For more information, give one of our licensed agents a call at 1-800-258-5101 or head to

1 Comment

  1. James on January 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Lawyers will typically sue up to the limits of your policy and settle at that. So buying less insurance might not even end up costing you more if you do cause a bad accident. It’s so costly and difficult to sue, obtain judgement and then actually collect that most opposing insurance companies find it’s better for their bottom line just to settle at your insurance policy limit. Unless you cause tens of thousands of damage beyond your policy limit and have substantial assets, most insurance companies will just settle at your policy limit.

    I was judged at fault in an accident that supposedly caused $15,000 in damages while I was carrying a minimum $5,000 policy for my state and the other party’s insurance company came after me for the rest. I rebuffed insurance requests for additional money (which was honestly not many, perhaps 3 letters over 8 months) with notations of errors in their understanding of my policy and requested paperwork documenting repair costs and then highlighted discrepancies in loss estimation. They then offered to settle at 60% of what they had calculated. I offered 30% of what I had calculated (which happened to be the limits of my policy) and told them things that made it seem as though I was very poor (a bluff). I haven’t heard from them in 5 months and haven’t paid a penny for the accident that happened over a year ago.

    Insurance is a tax on people who can’t afford a certain event.

    – James