When I turn to my clients and ask them about their automobile coverage, they quickly respond back that they have "Full Coverage". Full coverage to them and full coverage to me are two different things. My idea of full coverage is below:
- $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 Liability and Property Coverage ( Minimum insurance limits in the South Carolina are mandated by S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-140 and at the present time are 25,000/50,000/25,000. Likewise, UM, or uninsured coverage is mandatory but you should carry higher than the minimum limits).
- Personal Injury Protection/Medical Payments (PIP/Medpay)– $25,000.00. This is no fault insurance that protects you and other occupants of the car. This is optional coverage you can request that is very inexpensive.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)- $100,000.00. In accordance with S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77–160, this is optional coverage you can purchase in the event that damages are sustained in excess of the liability limits carried by an at-fault insured (driver) or underinsured motorist. Remember minimum coverage is $25,000.00 per one person.
- Comprehensive/Collision Coverage-Again these are optional coverages you can get that provide deductibles you pay to have your automobile repaired if it is in a collision or damaged as a result of something other than collision, ie fire, theft, weather, vandalism, etc (comprehensive). Often times collision coverage is required if you finance your vehicle through a bank, or lender.
- GAP Coverage-Gap insurance covers the difference between what the insurance company says your car is worth versus what’s left on your car loan, or note. I was not going to include this in my "Full Coverage" but in the past few weeks I have had 3 clients that would pay triple their premium in exchange for GAP coverage.
Full coverage to my clients usually means the bare minimum it takes to drive on the roadways of the state of South Carolina. As stated above, that would be liability coverage if you cause injury or property damage to someone else at $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 and Uninsured Motorist Coverage for incidents where you are injured by someone that failed to follow the law and carry the minimum insurance coverage. The amounts I use above can be adjusted to fit in each individuals budget. If you carry the bare minimum required by law, just remember the old adage that "You get what you pay for!"
INSURANCE is just that, coverage and protection when losses are injuries occur to you or your family as a result of the negligence or lack of responsibility of another party. Be prepared when that time comes. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety put out a report a few years ago that indicated a traffic wreck occurred every 4.7 minutes.