Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler January 13, 2017

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As you begin the New Year, you may be taking a big-picture look at your life. In which case, you may be working on a 2017 budget and asking questions such as how much car and home insurance do you need.

Jim Adler & Associates will try to provide some tips to help guide you.

Car Insurance Needs

Texas law requires every motorist to purchase car insurance, or auto liability insurance. But that doesn’t mean everyone buys it. In fact, as many as one-fifth of vehicles on Texas roads are not insured.

Knowing this fact should help steer you toward certain car insurance needs. These include insurance coverage to protect you against uninsured motorists or underinsured motorists. Uninsured motorist coverage means you can turn to your own insurance company for payments if you suffer injuries or damages in a collision which wasn’t your fault.

Uninsured motorist coverage also protects you in case you are struck by a hit-and-run vehicle, in which case no insured motorist is available for pursuing a claim with another insurance company.

Your auto insurance company is required by Texas law to offer you uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and to get a signed statement from you that you elect not to buy it if that is your decision. If the insurer cannot prove these things, you are legally entitled to buy retroactive uninsured motorist coverage after such an accident.

Minimum Auto Liability Insurance

It’s important to check out the minimum auto insurance requirements of the State of Texas. Depending on your vehicle’s value and other factors, minimum insurance requirements could meet your needs (except for adding uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage, which are not required by law).

Even so, your goal should be to purchase car insurance coverage equal to the total value of your vehicle. In order to get a lower rate, you may choose coverage which offers a higher deductible and plan to make routine repairs with your own money.

By Texas law, drivers who cause an accident are liable for the damages they cause. That’s why your car insurance includes auto liability coverage.

Texas law requires at least these amounts of auto liability coverage:

  • $25,000 for property damage caused by an auto accident
  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury or death due to an auto accident
  • $60,000 total coverage per accident for bodily injury or death when two or more persons are injured

Keep in mind that such minimum coverage required by Texas auto insurance law does not mean you won’t have to pay more if you cause more damages than those amounts. You still can face legal liability for the difference.

Home Insurance Needs

As for your home insurance needs, you are advised to explore policies covering the following:

  • Your liability to other persons who are injured in your home
  • The structure of your home itself
  • Your personal possessions in the home
  • The expense of living elsewhere while your home is repaired after damages

Such costs and adequate insurance to cover them can vary widely depending on the value of your home and your possessions.

Costs of Rebuilding Your Home

Keep in mind that home insurance should cover the costs of rebuilding your home according to current construction expenses. Such rebuilding costs do not include the value of the land on which your home is located, which is a large part of your property’s value.

To calculate the cost of rebuilding your home, multiply your home’s square footage by local building cost per square foot. Building costs for your area can be provided by builders, real estate agents or perhaps insurance agents.

All of these tips for how much car and home insurance you need are only suggestions and a guide. You must assess your own auto and home values and your own corresponding insurance needs to proceed with confidence.

However, if you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident or on someone else’s property where premises liability law applies, Jim Adler & Associates can help. Contact us today for a free case review toward an auto injury lawsuit or premises liability lawsuit claiming payments for your injury losses.

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