M.P. McQueen reported in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal on the national trend of more drivers are letting their car insurance lapse because of the faltering economy. Doing this puts themselves and others – including you – at risk.
Are Minimum Auto Liability Insurance Limits Enough?
How to Protect Yourself from an Uninsured Driver
- Look at your deductibles first. It might sting to pay the first $500 or $1,000 of repair costs after an accident, but at least it’s a known cost, with a maximum out-of-pocket.
- If you really need to cut auto insurance to the bone, consider removing physical damage (comprehensive & collision) coverage. If you have a loan or lease on the vehicle, you’re not going to be able to do this. Also, if you don’t have physical damage coverage on at least one car, you don’t have that coverage if you rent a car either. But, desperate times call for tough decisions.
- If you have more than one car, think about “laying one up”. You can suspend coverage for the time it’s stored. Just remember to call your agent before you drive it again, because it has no coverage.
- Try to pay your auto premiums on time. Paying late can jeopardize your coverage, especially if you slip up and your policy actually cancels one time. The Maine Insurance Dept. has an excellent set of FAQ, one of which offers the same counsel.
If you’re fortunate, and in expense-maintenance vs. expense-slashing mode, make sure that your liability coverage protects your assets, and your UIM coverage is adequate. And regardless of the law, don’t count on the other driver having insurance.