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5 Changes North and South Carolina Residents Should Make to Their Car Insurance this Year to Stay Protected and Save Money

If you live in North or South Carolina, it may be time to review your car insurance policy

Has the coronavirus pandemic affected car insurance? Yes, and in more ways than one. This past year in North and South Carolina, driving habits changed. People began working from home. Lockdown restrictions prevented travel. Loss of work led to reductions in coverage or car insurance cancellations. 

And these changes are concerning—especially as traffic returns to normal. In the 25+ years that we have been representing car accident victims in North and South Carolina, we have seen numerous individuals and families financially burdened because they didn’t have the right insurance policy or enough coverage. 

So, if you live in North or South Carolina, take a minute to review our top 5 recommendations for changes to make to your car insurance policy this year. These tips will ensure you stay protected and can help you save money.

1. Make sure your car insurance coverage reflects your needs.

Are you working from home full-time now? Did you reduce or cancel your car insurance coverage because you were driving less during coronavirus lockdowns? Perhaps you have a teenager who is about to get his or her learner’s permit. Whatever your situation, review your policy to make sure you have enough coverage. 

2. Avoid minimum insurance coverage since it could cost you more if you are injured in an accident.

Many drivers think they are saving money if they carry the minimum insurance required by their state. But the truth is that this type of policy can cost you more if you are in a serious auto accident. 

In North Carolina, drivers are required to have the following minimum coverage: 

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum legal requirement $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: Minimum legal requirement $25,000

In South Carolina, drivers are required to have the following minimum coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Minimum legal requirement $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: Minimum legal requirement $25,000

If you are seriously injured in a car accident in South or North Carolina, your medical bills can easily exceed $50,000 or $60,000, respectively. And this doesn’t even include your lost wages. If the at-fault driver only has the minimum amount of coverage, you may be left paying out of pocket for your expenses. 

Therefore, we strongly recommend adding additional coverage to your car insurance policy. Often the added coverage is a nominal increase in price and it will ensure you are protected if you are injured in an accident or cause an accident. 

3. Increase your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. 

This is a big one. Did you know about 1 out of 10 drivers in North and South Carolina not have car insurance, and if they do, they only have the minimum required? That number is likely much higher now with thousands of individuals reducing or cancelling their car insurance during COVID. This means that if you are hit by an uninsured  or underinsured driver, you could be responsible for paying for your damages and medical bills. 

When you are in a car accident with an uninsured driver, your car policies uninsured coverage steps in as the adverse driver’s insurance and will cover your medical bills, injuries and lost wages up to the amount of your coverage. It will even cover your car vehicle damage and rental car costs even if you do not have collision. Underinsured coverage, on the other hand, kicks in and covers you up to and including your policy limits when the other driver’s car insurance is insufficient to cover all of your damages.  

That’s why North and South Carolina require all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage. 

  • In North Carolina, drivers are required to have a minimum of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. They must also have a minimum of $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage.
  • In South Carolina, drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. They must also have a minimum of $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage.

However, not everyone obeys the laws. For this reason, we strongly advise you to have at least 100K, and preferably 300K or more, of uninsured motorist coverage. Again, the added coverage is likely to be a minimal increase in price and will save you in the long-run. 

4. Consider raising your deductible. 

As a reminder, your car insurance deductible is the amount of money you’re responsible for paying out of pocket if an accident occurs. Depending on your driving record, the age of your vehicle, and how many drivers use one car, you could save money on premiums by raising it.

It’s kind of a pay-now-or-pay-later situation, but if you have a long-term clean driving record, increasing your deductible (for example, from $500 to $1,000) can be a significant cost-saver on premiums. Remember, the key here is to raise your deductible to an amount you can comfortably afford.

5. Ask about discounts

While we recommend adding coverage to your policy, we also recommend asking your car insurance company about potential discounts. For example, does your car insurance company offer safe driver discounts? Can you receive a discount if you take a safe-driving course? Are there bundling options if you have property or renter’s insurance with the same company? It never hurts to call your agent to learn more about your options.

Here’s what to do if you are injured in a car accident by a driver without car insurance in North or South Carolina, call us immediately at 855-969-5730.

Car accidents happen in a terrifying instant that can leave you feeling hurt, scared, and confused about what to do next. Whether the other driver had insurance or not, one of the most important things you can do is contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Auger & Auger immediately. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help you.

For over two decades, Auger & Auger has helped thousands of accident victims and their families throughout North and South Carolina.  We are a compassionate group of attorneys who fight for our clients. We pride ourselves on providing superior service, individual attention to every client, and aggressive representation.

We offer FREE, no-obligation consultations to all potential clients. And, you don’t have to pay for anything unless we secure a financial settlement for you. Call 855-969-5730 now to schedule your complimentary meeting with our experienced car accident attorneys.

Posted In: Car Insurance Tips

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