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Personal Injury Law: San Diego Injury Lawyer Blog
Automobile Insurance for San Diego's Roads: What You Need
By Ross Jurewitz
Most San Diegans drive with auto insurance. But most are severely under-insured or don't have the right kind of insurance.
Unfortunately, we usually get to advise clients of their proper insurance needs ONLY after they've been in an accident and it's clear to them they were under-insured. So, please consider this to be a preemptive public safety announcement to all San Diegans.
1. Do Not Purchase Minimum Insurance. The minimum amount of insurance coverage necessary to drive a car in California is bodily injury coverage of $15K/$30K. This means that, in the event that you negligently cause an accident, your insurance carrier will pay all medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering for those you injured up to $15K per person or $30K per accident. If their damages exceed this amount, then you could be personally responsible for the balance. Obviously $15K isn't much money and automobile accident claims can easily exceed this amount. It is important that you purchase as much bodily injury coverage as you can afford. This is not only important to protect your assets, but, as the next section will make clear, so that you can maximize your under-insured/uninsured motorist coverage.
2. Purchase As Much UM/UIM Insurance Coverage As You Can. Ok, you're responsible. You purchased as much bodily injury coverage as you can. But the other guy, just assume that he is not responsible and is carrying only the minimum coverage--or no coverage at all! That is why you need to maximize your uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). UM/UIM allows you to turn to your own insurance to pay for your injuries which exceed the limits of the other driver's insurance policy. However, you can only purchase UM/UIM coverage up to the limits of your bodily injury coverage. So, if your bodily injury coverage is $100K, that is the most UM/UIM coverage you can purchase. UM/UIM is one of the cheapest components of an auto insurance policy. There is no excuse not to have it.
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