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In my state of Florida, you’re required to buy $10,000 in auto insurance coverage for property damage and also $10,000 in coverage for personal injury protection. But this isn’t the only auto insurance coverage that I have.

In fact, I have more property damage coverage than I’m mandated to have, and I also have a substantial bodily injury liability policy as well as comprehensive and collision coverage.

By choosing to have more car insurance coverage than my state requires, I pay a higher premium for my policy than I would if I just went with the minimum coverage. But when trying to decide how much car insurance I needed, I realized I’m happy to pay more than I would for a basic policy. Here’s why.

Paying for more insurance coverage provides more asset protection

I’ve chosen to buy both car insurance coverage that my state doesn’t require and more than the minimum in mandated coverage. I do this because I want to protect my assets.

Car insurance can pay for your own vehicle to be repaired or replaced if it is stolen, damaged in a single-vehicle accident, or damaged by another cause — such as a tree falling on it. But you need comprehensive and collision coverage in order to be covered if any of these calamities happen. I want to make sure that I don’t have to pay out of pocket for a new car if something goes wrong. To me, it’s worth paying slightly higher insurance premiums to make certain my insurer pays for serious problems.

Even more important, I want to ensure that I have sufficient liability coverage in case I get into an accident and cause damage to someone else. See, if you cause serious injury in a collision that’s your fault, the person who you harmed could file a lawsuit against you. You could be left with huge legal bills to pay. And if the court finds you responsible, you could be required to pay hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in damages to the accident victim.

In most states, the minimum required coverage would only be enough to pay for the full damages in more minor accidents. And the problem is, your insurer pays out only up to the maximum coverage limits and no more. So if the damages are greater than that, you could end up being personally responsible for the costs.

Obviously, it would be terrible for many reasons if I was involved in an accident that caused injuries and was held liable for it. But I don’t want to add on the additional worry of being financially devastated and losing my assets and potentially having future wages garnished to pay a judgement if I’m found liable for damages in excess of what my insurance covers.

To make sure that never happens, I’ve bought a substantial amount of liability insurance coverage. And if you want to make sure that you never end up emptying your savings account if a car accident occurs, you should consider buying more than your state’s minimum required coverage as well.

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