In North Carolina, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $30,000 in bodily injury coverage as a part of their liability car insurance. This bodily injury liability insurance covers the other person’s injuries in the case that you cause a damaging car accident, in addition to covering legal expenses in the case that you are sued after a crash. This means that if you cause an accident and injure another individual and their medical expenses and other damages amount to $45,000 as a result, your insurance will cover only $30,000, and you could be liable for payment of the remaining $15,000 using your own assets – out of your pocket. This can be especially damaging if you do not have these funds in liquid form; meaning your other assets – such as your home – are now at risk. The person you injure in an accident may simply opt to take the insurance policy limits, if tendered by your insurance company, but they are not required to, and this may leave you exposed to additional liability.
While you may think that $30,000 is more than enough to cover someone’s expenses after an accident, a three-day stay in a hospital alone can give someone a bill of $30,000, not to mention additional costs that will be incurred such as ambulance (EMS) bills and treatment, medicine, lost wages from work, etc.
The good news is that the cost of increasing your bodily injury insurance is minimal. For example, to carry the minimum $30,000 coverage required by law in North Carolina will typically cost you about $40 per month. To increase that coverage to say $300,000, you only pay approximately $8 more per month. That is a small amount to pay to ensure you are well covered in case of injury to another person in an accident .
In addition to liability bodily injury coverage, in North Carolina you are also required to have $30,000 in uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries. This coverage provides you protection for your losses in the event that you are injured in an accident and the person at fault was uninsured entirely. As mentioned above, it is easy to incur medical bills for greater than that amount of coverage.
Strong consideration should be given to purchasing more than “minimum” required policy limits in NC when you are obtaining automobile insurance coverage. This will help to protect you in the event of an accident with damages which exceed $30,000 to another person or even for yourself. A good way to help protect yourself further is to purchase Underinsured Motorist coverage. Underinsured coverage is not required by NC law, but it is very wise to add this insurance to your policy. Underinsured coverage will help cover your injuries if another driver causes your injuries through their negligence, but that person does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries. Just as with bodily injury coverage, a little additional cost in your premiums will help cover a large amount of additional damages. Talk to your insurance agent about the amount of coverage that best suits your needs.
At Shankle Law Firm, your initial consultation is completely free. We encourage you to contact us at 704-370-1212 so that you can go over the specifics of your case with the owner / attorney, Maggie Shankle directly! Maggie is a Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, which is the highest ranking you can receive in the practice of Workers’ Compensation. Call us today and get the experience, care and compassion you need and deserve.