How to Buy Family Auto Insurance

Is your family protected?
Is your family protected?

First, there was you. You had a car and an insurance agent and a policy for one. Then, you got married. You added a husband and his car and a policy in both of your names. Next came the kids and fortunately, it took a while for them to be old enough to drive. Now, you have a teenage driver fresh out of driving school, and another with her learner's permit. Your insurance needs just got considerably more complex. So, where do you start?

Let's begin with the coverage you have to have. Bodily injury liability covers any people involved in the accident and property damage covers the other person's car as well as any property that you damage with your car. And then, uninsured motorist coverage will protect you against a hit-and-run driver or someone who simply doesn't have insurance. It differs from state to state on how much coverage you're required to have, but you'll need to be covered on all of these items for all drivers in your family. If your net worth is on the higher side, you may want to max out the limits to minimize the possibility of another driver coming after your personal assets in a lawsuit.

Another option to consider is collision and comprehensive coverage. In a nutshell, this covers damage to your car regardless of what caused the accident. If you have any newer cars in the family, it would behoove you to buy this coverage. But, if you have an older car in your fleet and the cost of the coverage equals 10 percent of your car's blue book value or less, you may as well cancel it because you'll be paying more than the car is worth. You can also get additional coverage such as personal injury protection and medical payments coverage. Personal injury makes up lost wages and provides in-home care after an accident if it's needed, while the medical payments option covers the medical bills you or your passengers rack up regardless of who is at fault.