Budget Concerns: How Much Insurance is Enough?

Budget Concerns: How Much Insurance is Enough?

What You Don't Know About Your Auto Insurance Coverage Could Save You Money

Dustin Duncan

Have you checked the details of your auto insurance policy lately? You may be surprised to find out you have more coverage than you think. There are two coverages, in particular, you may not know about without digging deeper.

Diminished Value Claim

Consumers often don't know they have a right to file a diminished value claim. Even though your insurance company pays for the damages to your vehicle if you're insured, the insurer won't automatically pay you for your vehicle's diminished value following an accident.

Involvement in an auto accident decreases the value of your vehicle, even after you have it repaired. Consequently, buyers often want to pay less for a vehicle they know has been in a collision. The information isn't difficult to come by. Anyone can buy a vehicle history report from a reporting agency that run searches using the VIN (vehicle identification number). Your vehicle's history report can cost you money. For example, if you advertise your vehicle for sale for $28,000, but a buyer offers you $21,000 because it was in an accident, it's diminished value is $7,000 even if your vehicle only cost you $3,500 to repair. When you go to trade in your vehicle on a newer model, the dealer may offer you less too.

Along with filing a claim for the damages to your vehicle, you are entitled to file a separate diminished value claim. Before your insurance company will consider paying the claim, you need to prove your vehicle lost value as a result of the accident. You must provide evidence, such as maintenance records, mechanic's reports, receipts, and photos, of your vehicle's condition prior to the accident. Either your insurer or the insurance company for the driver at fault for the accident pays the diminished value claim.

Pet Injury Coverage

If you're involved in an auto accident and your pet was in the vehicle with you, injuries your pet suffered may be covered. However, not all insurance companies offer coverage for family pets riding in your vehicle, and the coverage isn't available in all states.

If your auto policy covers injuries to pets, it's normally included with your collision coverage. In that case, you'll be reimbursed for veterinarian bills up to the stated amount. Some insurance companies don't charge extra for pet injury coverage. Other insurers will provide coverage as an add-on to your insurance policy, but it will cost you more in the premium rate you pay.

If another driver causes the accident, your pet's injuries may be covered under that person's property damage liability coverage as long as your state has at-fault insurance laws. Although many insurance companies consider pets as property, if you cause the accident, your pet's injuries won't be covered under your own liability coverage. However, if you live in a no-fault state, your personal injury insurance may cover your pet.

For more information, contact a company like LA Insurance.


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About Me
Budget Concerns: How Much Insurance is Enough?

Insurance is something that I carry in the hopes that it never has to be used. Along with life coverage, I also have low cost auto insurance and a health plan through my employer. I'm toying with the idea of adding some additional coverage, just in case something happens and I'm no longer around to take care of my family. The question that is on my mind is how much insurance is enough? Do I really need more, or would it be better to cultivate other assets that my loved ones can draw on if needed? If you are in the same boat, let's journey together for a while. Read on and I'll explain what I'm trying and why. Together, we can figure out when it is time to add more coverage and when enough really is enough.

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