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‘I don’t understand my auto insurance’

April 13, 2011
By KEVIN SCHUMAN, Ask Your Insurance Agent

In our daily interactions with customers we find that most do not understand what their auto insurance covers. When I was young my dad had a saying that "Everyone is stupid, just on different subjects." Insurance is one of those subjects that is pretty boring, but important when you need it.

I like to break coverage into three areas. Protection for the other party, protection for yourself and protection for the vehicle. Protection for the other party would be bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Coverage of 100/300/100 means your insurance company would pay up to $100,000 for the injuries you cause to one person, $300,000 for injury's to several and $10,000 for the property (vehicles) you damage.

Protection for you would include Florida No-Fault, medical payments, and uninsured motorist. Florida No-Fault is $10,000 of your own medical and lost wages, collected from your own company, regardless of who is at fault. Medical payments will help to supplement the no-fault. Uninsured motorist would again be your own company, paying you or your heirs, for injury, disablement, death caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Insurance for the vehicle would include collision, comprehensive, towing and car rental. Collision with another vehicle or object is subject to a deductible. Comprehensive is generally fire and theft. Towing or road service is a minor expense but is often duplicated on a motor club or new car warranty. Rental car coverage is the expense for the rental after an accident or theft only.

A hard concept to grasp is how there can be 30 percent uninsured motorists in a state with mandatory insurance. The required coverage in Florida is $10,000 no fault and $10,000 property damage liability. Think of it this way. If someone was to disable you in an auto accident and had $10,000 toward fixing your vehicle and $10,000 for their own injury, they are legal. Although they carry the required coverage, they can in no way meet your injury expense.

Still confused? Skip the out-of-state 800# and find a local agent to suggest the right coverage for you.

Kevin Schuman is a senior Allstate agent. He can be contacted at 239-945-8888 or toll free at 800-356-2153.



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