Although getting hit from behind is the most common example of a chain reaction crash, another friend of mine was actually side-swiped on the right side on a multi-lane freeway at 60 mph. It knocked his Blazer into the car beside him in the lane to his left (since the other car was coming from the right rear side he never saw the other car coming).
Keeping plenty of distance between you and the car in front is a good strategy for accidents where you could get rear ended, but there are lots of other ways that chain reactions can happen.
Maine law requires 50k/100k minimum. They also require 50k/100k for uninsured motorist. Lots of people in maine apparently drive without insurance.... for the record, to get a car home after buying it used, I have too. Now I usually tow them home with the wagon, but I hearsay I'm supposed to have the towed vehicle reg/insured too.
I have 100k/300k on my primary and 50k/100k on the uninsured. 50k property damage, if memory serves.
If you are involved in an accident with multiple expensive vehicles, 100k won't even cover the damage. Say you hit a 50k lexus SUV and total it; that car hits another car, and that car has a brain tumor patient in it. They'll go after any asset you have. (or are projected to have in the future!)
I shopped around a lot for bike insurance. With my car's insurance company, it would have cost $300 a year for liability. I switched to dairyland, and it was $125 a year.
Actually call the company you got a quote from:
Geico sends me endless e-mails and even sometimes calls me if I don't buy from them. Spend a few minutes with them on the phone with your current insurance paperwork in front of you. Give them what it costs and they will usually beat it. They are so cut-throat these days. It's really a nasty business to be in.
Back to my bike, for example. A year after I paid $125 they sent me a bill for renewal for $200. I had had no accidents, and had just gotten past 24 years old so my insurance should have been less, not more. I called, they said "their operating costs went up." Yeah, well, that doesn't work for me.
After about five minutes of talking to some other representative and getting enrolled in some other plan (same coverage, perplexing), my bill was now $100 for the year.
Every place you get a quote from, (I do all mine online) make sure you actually talk to them on the phone. Especially if they were just a little bit higher than what you pay now; then they are much more likely to be able to get lower than your bill. You might actually get a discount or two for going to more coverage. It seems silly, but it's a bit like buying 12 rolls of TP instead of 2. Volume discount?
Although I always call my agent before driving a recently purchased vehicle home, I have been told that you are covered by your insurance as long as you notify them within 72 hours of the vehicle purchase.
In Maine, I've been told by my insurance company, that only applies to new vehicles. Buying used, they've made me get insurance for a "transit pass." It's the only option other than trailering the new car. The transit pass requires one or two day proof of insurance to do it. Maine wont give you one otherwise.
It is still a good idea I suppose, it's awfully risky to drive it home.
thanks for the replies all. i have to weigh out a couple of things...
in florida, one can NOT lose his/her home due to debt or law suit and
not to be arrogant, but i drive for a living so it's likely a collision would be the other party's fault and or a component failure.
I used to hang around for years waiting to see if my rates would go down for being a loyal customer but they never did. Maybe 3-5 years isn't long enough, but if I can save $150/month right now why should I pay it for 3-5 years, just for a vaporware hope of saving the same money later?
I gave up and now go with the lowest bidder, checking once a year. I never have to make claims...since 1997 I've had claims when I was rear-ended, had a not-at-fault accident where I managed to avoid destroying a minivan but bumped a Saturn, and had one windshield claim. I used to get lots of speeding tickets but not anymore.
Up until I moved from NC to KY I was with Allstate for about the past 25 years and was paying $240.-$ $250. per year for the liability 50/100/300 and unisured/underinsured coverage 50/100/300 on each vehicle. I also had my motorcycle and home insured with Allstate so I was getting good driver rate, multi vehicle discounted rate and a discount for having all my cars and home insured with the same company, but when I moved to KY Allstate's rates couldn't compare to Farm Bureau, so I guess you can guess which company I went with. When I moved to NC all those years ago I also shopped rates before buying insurance maybe that's why my rates continued to be the lowest I could find.
BTG, whether you lose your home or not, you'll be working for the people you injured until you pay off the judgment against you. If you'd prefer to pay, say, $200,000 instead of an extra $100/year for better insurance coverage, that's your choice. Don't let the unanimous opinion of the rest of us sway you .
Another suggestion might be to think about only having catastrophic insurance in all facets of your life. What I mean is, don't ever pay for "extended protection plans" or "cell phone insurance" or "automotive extended warrranties," etc. You'd probably save more not buying the extra protection for your new laptop than saving a few pennies on catastrophic insurance.
There's even insurance today for your pet.
A good read on the topic is the Lee Iacocca book. I think it's his autobiography that he talks about it in. (I'm paraphrasing on behalf of my father who actually read the book, I've yet to but want to)