When buying autmobile insurance, one of the coverages people require is liability insurance. If you are sued because you caused a motor vehicle accident, the liability insurance provides a lawyer to defend you and money to pay the claim of the injured person. Most people have liability insurance limits of one million dollars.
While one million dollars may seem like a lot of coverage, there are two important things to consider when deciding if this is enough:
If you are at fault for a car accident, the claim against you can easily exceed one million dollars.
Consider a car accident were someone is seriously injured and can never work again. If this person was 40 years old and had an annual salary of $60,000, the income loss claim alone will easily exceed your $1 million policy limits. On top of this are the claims for pain and suffering, medical and care expenses and other costs which could bring the claim up to $2 million dollars.
If you only have one million dollars in liability coverage and the damages are more than one million dollars, you are personally on the hook for anything over one million dollars.
Owing someone $500,000 or a million dollars may not be as big of a deal if you have no job and no assets. The plaintiff may realize you are “judgment proof” and simply walk with the million from the insurance company. But if you have a job or plan to get one, money in the bank, a house or any other assets, you are at risk of having to sell your assets or have your income garnished.
If you only have one million dollars of automobile liability insurance, it is recommended you consider increasing your coverage. The cost is surprisingly little while the consequence of not doing so could be dire.