Why Higher Liability Limits on your NH Car Insurance Policy are Essential
No one likes spending more money than necessary, especially on insurance, but when you are told that you need to consider higher liability limits on your New Hampshire car insurance policy, you may wonder why.
The basics of NH Car Insurance
NH is one of the only states in the entire country where auto insurance is not required to register a vehicle. If you decide to purchase a NH car insurance policy, you can select different liability limits, but why buy more when you don't have to?
The reason is because just because the state does not require insurance, you can be sure that if you are found legally responsible for a car accident then the person you hit will. This could mean you paying out of your pocket the cost to repair their car or paying for their medical bills, loss of income and/or pain-and-suffering! That could put you in debt for years!
What is Liability on a NH Auto Policy cover?
There are two parts to the liability coverage on a NH Auto Policy:
1. Bodily Injury (BI): The bodily injury coverage on your policy helps pay for another person's physical injuries for which you are held legally responsible due to a car accident. It can include coverage for another's medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and legal fees.
Coverage is typically written with two limits. The first limit applies to a per person limit and the second is a per accident limit.
For example, if you purchased bodily injury limits of $25,000/$50,000 this would mean that the most the policy would pay is $25,000 for any one person's injuries and $50,000 if two, three, four or more people were injured.
If you were driving home on a snowy day and slid on black ice and side swiped a min-van on its way to a birthday party carrying four kids, the most the policy would pay for all 5 people injured would be $50,000. What if mom driving was a professional chef who could no longer stand at her job all day and required countless hours of physical therapy? What do you think the parents of those four kids think their children's injuries and lost potential are worth?
At HPM Insurance we recommend limits of at least $100,000/$300,000 but typically $250,000/$500,000.
2. Property Damage (PD): The property damage portion of your policy helps pay for the damage that you cause to another vehicle(s) or other type of property like a traffic light, stone wall, etc.
The minimum coverage available in New Hampshire for property damage coverage should you decide to purchase car insurance at all is $25,000. This is extremely low considering the cost of cars now-a-days. If you hit one car the most the policy would pay with a $25,000 limit is $25,000. If you cause a chain-reaction accident and two or more cars are damaged, your policy would still only pay up to $25,000.
Coverage can be increased up to $100,000 for typically less than a movie ticket so don't leave yourself exposed.
How much does it cost to get higher liability limits?
Unfortunately it is not a cut-and-dry answer as it will can depend on factors such as the type of car you insure, your driving history, age and where you live. The good news is that we can easily estimate this for you by you contacting us.
There is nothing worse than learning after you have a claim that you could have purchased more coverage for short-money had you only known. Don't wait and ask us to quote you higher limits today!