How Much Car Insurance Coverage Do You Need? Peter Vitale Weighs In

Peter Vitale is a Michigan-based business consultant who specializes in insurance. He has received numerous honors, including Allstate Insurance Company’s Inner Circle Elite Award. Peter Vitale has become a trusted expert when it comes to having the right type of coverage. We’ll look at his thoughts on the matter. We’ll explore how his tips can help drivers can best protect themselves and their finances.

Priority #1: Bodily Injury Liability

When you think about the cost of medical bills, it’s no surprise to see bodily injury liability as Peter Vitale’s top priority. Drivers without enough coverage can quickly find themselves bankrupt. This is especially true if they don’t have enough to cover bodily injuries in the event of an accident

Uninsured or underinsured motorists involved in automobile accidents can accrue enormous amounts of out-of-pocket costs. The average American would not be able to offset those costs in a singular transaction. Thus, they are impacted for years to come in a significant manner.  As a trickle-down event, individuals who could not afford to pay these expenses would need to declare bankruptcy in order to get the judgment dismissed.

How Umbrella Insurance Can Help

Umbrella insurance offers a way of protecting yourself against excess liability costs. When a standard policy maxes out its limits, a policyholder can turn to umbrella insurance. An umbrella insurance policy of $1 million would cost anywhere between $150 – $300, according to the Insurance Information Institute. If you were to apply a $1 million policy to an outstanding post-accident bill for an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the umbrella coverage would likely be implemented to bear the burden of a large chunk of the balance. 

Michigan-based Insurance Consultant Peter Vitale recommends having enough liability coverage to protect the net worth of the individual. All drivers should have umbrella insurance of at least $1 million, or the total value of their assets — whichever is higher. This enables drivers to feel confident about their “worst-case-scenario” coverage on a proactive basis.

Protecting You

The ramifications of a car accident extend far past the event. Even seemingly small collisions can be difficult to process. They can result in some fairly serious injuries when all is said and done.

As many drivers and passengers have pre-existing conditions, it might not take much to aggravate these disorders. Accidents can also lead to long-term problems, such as chronic back pain.

The best insurance in the world can only do so much to account for the emotional effects of a crash. However, it can at least protect you from facing financial ruin during this time. It can also provide the peace of mind you need to start putting everything back together again.

Car insurance 101 With Peter Vitale

In Michigan (and other states), drivers are required to have a certain amount of liability coverage to be considered “legal.” The numbers are divided by bodily injury, incident, and property damage at $20,000/$40,000/$10,000, respectively. If you get the minimum amount of coverage, you would be responsible for any medical bills that exceeded $20,000 per person.

However, keep in mind that you have a total cap of $40,000. In the case of a multi-vehicle crash, costs per person can rise swiftly. In an accident that has resulted in extensive property damage, these caps can add up as well.  If it costs $15,000 to repair one car involved in an accident, and another $10,000 per person for medical bills, your policy would not pay out any more than $40,000 for this claim. You would have to cover the rest out of pocket.

When it comes to your policy, property damage might refer to someone else’s car. Similarly, it might mean a traffic sign, guardrail, or grounds. If you drive up on someone’s lawn, and it needs to be reseeded, you are responsible for the costs of this expense. If you don’t have a car insurance policy that meets these parameters, you risk potentially losing your license and incurring fines.

Bloomfield Insurance Group owner Peter Vitale recommends going above the minimums to be truly prepared on the road. While many drivers can avoid accidents just through basic safety, unexpected events can often intervene.

You Matter Too

Many priorities related to automobile insurance coverage center around caring for other people in the event of an accident. However, it’s important to remember that you and your property matter, too. If you only have liability protection, it means that you won’t receive any compensation for your own injuries or property repairs.

Unless you’re prepared to replace your car immediately, you should have protection that will keep you on the road. Chances are, you depend on your car for your job. Thus, this is really a non-negotiable need when it comes to necessary expenses. 

This is where comprehensive insurance can make a big difference. This type of policy ensures that you’ll be covered if something happens to your vehicle. If lightning strikes a tree branch that topples onto your car, you’ll be able to file a claim for the repairs. While these scenarios may sometimes feel like “freak occurrences”, these types of damages do occur. They can certainly have lasting ramifications.

Comprehensive insurance coverage is also helpful in the event of hitting something other than a car, such as a deer. You can also consider additional coverage extras, such as rental insurance, roadside assistance, and accident forgiveness. These supplemental coverage options come at discount “bundle” rates.

About Peter Vitale

Peter Vitale is a trusted leader in the insurance industry. After starting his own high-performing agency in 2014, Vitale learned how to overcome many of the common challenges facing small- and medium-sized insurance businesses. Vitale frequently works with his clients to improve customer engagement, marketing, and sales training. He also works to instill a better corporate culture, promoting an atmosphere that will benefit both staff and customers alike.Peter Vitale lives in Oakland County, and is a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Eastern Michigan. Vitale greatly enjoys every opportunity to share his insights related to the insurance industry, and regularly informs consumers about their options.

Author: Pat McGuigan

Pat McGuigan is an accomplished author, car enthusiast, and journalist who has made a name for himself in the automotive world. With a passion for cars that dates back to his childhood, Pat has dedicated his career to sharing his knowledge and insights with others through his writing. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Pat's love for cars was instilled in him at a young age. Growing up in the heart of the American automotive industry, he was surrounded by the sights and sounds of the latest and greatest cars and trucks. He spent his childhood tinkering with engines and reading car magazines, and by the time he reached his teenage years, he knew that he wanted to make a career out of his passion.