Car Insurance: Getting the Protection You Need

Car Insurance: Getting the Protection You Need

Do you have enough insurance coverage on your car? Do you have the right type of coverage? How does insurance pay for the best collision repair? You may be tempted to get the cheapest insurance you can buy, but getting the right coverage can save you a lot of money when you’re involved in an accident. These tips will help you get the insurance you need for your vehicle.

Collision Liability Coverage

Liability coverage pays for property and medical costs you cause in an accident. You are liable for the cost of damage and injury that goes beyond your insurance coverage. How much coverage do you need? A lawsuit can take all the assets you have, but can’t take money you don’t have. In other words, make sure your coverage matches your available assets.

In Wisconsin, all cars are legally required to have at least this much liability coverage:
$10,000 for property damage
$25,000 for the injury or death of one person
$50,000 for the injury or death of all people involved in the accident

The state minimum coverage is too low to cover all the costs associated with common accidents. This is the recommended minimum for the majority of drivers:

$25,000 for property damage
$50,000 for the injury or death of one person
$100,000 for the injury or death of all people involved in the accident

If you want the lowest chance of liability, consider increasing your coverage to these amounts recommended by Consumer Reports:

$100,000 for property damage
$100,000 for the injury or death of one person
$300,000 for the injury or death of all people involved in the accident

Uninsured Motorists

How likely is it that you’ll have an accident involving an uninsured driver? It’s estimated that 14.3% of Wisconsin drivers are uninsured, the 15th highest state in the nation. As for surrounding states, 11.5% of drivers in Minnesota are uninsured, 20.3% of Michigan drivers, 8.7% of Iowa drivers, and 13.7% of Illinois drivers.

As with liability coverage, choosing coverage depends on your risk. Wisconsin requires a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for uninsured injury coverage, plus $10,000 for property damage. However, you should at least match uninsured coverage with your liability coverage. You may want more property damage coverage if you drive a newer car.

Comprehensive Coverage

This type of coverage pays for damage to your vehicle outside of an accident. This includes theft, vandalism, hail and other falling objects. Loan companies require this coverage on financed vehicles so they can recover their money if the car is damaged. If you own your vehicle outright, it’s up to you to decide if this coverage is worth having.


Other Coverage

As soon as you drive a new car off the lot, it becomes used, losing thousands of dollars off of its value. If you get into a major accident, standard comprehensive coverage will only cover the current value of the vehicle. If you don’t make a large down payment or have a valuable trade-in, you could be left with a sizable amount left to pay on the loan. Gap insurance pays for this difference between your car’s retail value and the loan amount.

Rental coverage pays for the use of a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. If you aren’t at fault and the other driver involved in the accident has this coverage, it may pay for your rental.

How Does Insurance Work When I’m Getting Repairs?

Your local agent may make shop recommendations, but the insurance company must pay for the work no matter where you have your vehicle repaired.

The process starts with an inspection by a certified auto appraiser. They will look over the car and create an estimate for the repair including parts and labor.

Once the insurance company approves the estimate, it pays the shop the full amount for the repair minus the deductible. It’s up to you to pay this amount to the shop.

As the car is taken apart, further damage may be uncovered. The appraiser takes a second look and writes up a new estimate. This adjustment is approved by the insurance company, and they pay for the additional repairs. There is only one deductible to pay on the entire repair, even if there’s an adjustment.

We Make Collision Repair Easy

If you need your car fixed after an accident, take it to Merton Auto Body. We’re the first choice for many major auto insurance companies, and our on-staff appraiser can handle the paperwork, so you’ll get your car back sooner. If you live in Oconomowoc, Delafield, Hartland, Pewaukee or anywhere else in Lake Country, we’re just a short tow or drive away.

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