No. 3: No coverage for injuries if you drink and drive
Thirty-seven states have alcohol-exclusion laws, which allow insurance companies to deny medical coverage for injuries due to intoxication, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. That means that in those states your insurance company could refuse to pay for your medical treatment if you crashed and were injured while driving and impaired by alcohol or drugs.
No. 4: Coverage excluded for unlicensed drivers
Some policies exclude coverage if an unlicensed driver uses your vehicle and crashes. Bottom line: Be picky about who drives your car.
"It's awkward to ask to see your friend's driver's license, but, then again, you're trusting someone with your car, and if they wreck and there's no coverage, you're the one who's going to be responsible," Gusner says.
No. 5: Exclusions for doing business
Many policies exclude coverage for any business use of the vehicle, Wilson says. Borrowing someone else's car won't help, either -- that person's auto policy is unlikely to cover your business use.
In addition, many policies exclude coverage for pizza or other deliveries.
"Imagine how many pizza-delivery drivers are on the road tonight without insurance," Wilson says. "This exclusion could apply to all kinds of exposures, from delivery (of) newspapers to Mary Kay cosmetics."
No. 6: Restricted coverage for car theft
Some policies exclude coverage for theft without any evidence of forced entry, Wilson says, and some don't offer coverage for upgraded or custom equipment. That can be a problem if you've made some after-market modifications to your vehicle.
Wilson recommends working with an agent who understands your needs and can explain the differences among policies.
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My daughter was involved in a hit and run. Totally her car and another lady's car. The other lady sustained very serious injuries. She was also a single working mother. Apparently this 17 year old took his mothers van without consent, ran a red light, hit both cars and fled. Needless to say her AAA insurance had a clause that said no coverage unless their is consent or permission to drive the vehicle. She said she did not give permission. Guess what? My daughter and the other lady were out thousands and the kid walked free. We went through attorneys and every legal avenue possible. Nothing. Insurance is worthless. More people driving around without it than with it, especially the illegals. Talk about a joke!
But if you have insurance and it's your fault and you and your insurance company gets sued, your insurance will drop you like a box of rocks.
Fearing any problems, I don't let anyone drive my vehicle. Period. I use it for work from time to time, but am a social worker for the disabled making home visits and would never take a client in my vehicle for any reason - that's just asking for trouble. The only people in my vehicle are myself and my family.
It is possible to have outstanding coverage to prevent the type of tragedy spud52 speaks of, but it will cost you. I'll skimp on some things, but automobile insurance is not one of those areas. I'm 42 now, but when I was 18 years old I had a near fatal head on crash with a snowplow in my parents Lincoln Town Car - they had JUST raised their coverage a few weeks earlier after their agent told them that if they didn't consider it they could be bankrupted if there was ever a serious injury. They smartly listened and just in the nick of time too - my medical care came to $500,000, all of which was covered by their insurance. My left leg had to be amputated, I was hospitalized for 3 months and all of the subsequent costs such as my prosthetic limbs, were covered. Had they not listened they could have lost everything they worked so very hard for all their lives. Knowing what an accident can cost, having a good agent and good insurance is well worth the cost, at least for me. I'm not looking to giving up 15 minutes to save 15% or more - I want REAL coverage with a REAL agent who can explain what everything means, not a stupid reptile. I'm willing to pay 15% more if it covers me properly and my current insurance does very nicely. Give up dining out once or twice a month and devote that to good coverage. Get the absolute best coverage you can afford.
Don't skimp on your insurance and think twice about who you let drive your vehicle. If you're a good driver with at least decent credit you should get a pretty good rate. And if your state offers the every 3 year safe driver class like NYS does you can save even more. Giving up 5 hours on a Saturday saves me nearly $400 over the course of 3 years - well, well worth it.
So it is possible to have good coverage to protect yourself against the things spud52 is speaking of, but be prepared to pay. That being said, you'll be paying A LOT more without good coverage.
You get what you pay for, I have sold auto insurance for over 40 years, and I have seen so many clients refuse higher limits of protection on liability, if they are sued,uninsued motorist if they are hurt by a hit and run or uninsured driver, and underinsured coverage in case the other guy only has minimum limits.
Do not assume anything when it comes to insurance protection, ask questions, talk to a couple of insurance agents from different companies.
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