While it is dangerous to be underinsured, having too much insurance can be an expensive mistake as well. It’s important to work with a licensed agent to the coverage amounts that are right for you, as the minimum amount of insurance required in your state is seldom enough.
State law may require as little liability coverage as $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5000 property damage. About half of the states require $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Half of them require $10,000 in property damage coverage. If you can afford it, buy more than the minimum. After all, $10,000 for property damage may not be enough if you hit a $100,000 Mercedes-Benz.
The more assets and income you have, the more insurance you need. Most insurers recommend liability coverage of at least $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 property damage if you have assets to protect, such as a house. Some insurers also recommend a $1 million “personal liability umbrella” policy issued in conjunction with homeowner’s coverage. Leading insurers report that such coverage averages $270 a year, but the amount varies significantly depending on location and other factors. An “umbrella” policy could protect a family from financial ruin in a major lawsuit.