Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

How much insurance

Of course I want to save money. I drive a 1999 Honda Civic which has no lien, so I want to carry the minimum insurance. I was noticing on Geico that it gives different levels of protection for my car, other drivers’ car, my medical bills, other drivers’ medical bills. I am a single mom and live in NYC. I drive about once a week. What would you suggest as the level of coverage for each of these areas?

A look at NY’s minimum requirements state that you need by law:
25/50k injury
50/100k death
10k property damage

Whether you need or will buy more will depend upon how you feel about the level of risk and assets that you may own.


You need to choose a level of insurance and shop it around at different companies. If you have assets like a condominium, big bank account or stocks that someone could go after, you might want to get a high liability rider. As a single mother, I doubt that you have any of those things, but it is possible. Make sure the insurer knows that you drive infrequently and that it is not a commuter car. That will save a lot of money. Also, if you use off street (secure) parking, that will save money too. I’ve had GEICO for decades, and they served me well. Major insurers have a lot to loose by treating their customers badly, but that doesn’t to mean a small insurer with good prices can’t serve you well too. Ask everyone you know who insures their cars and why they continue with them. You should get enough information to make an informed choice.

If you total this car, can you afford to replace it out-of-pocket (assuming you’d want another car right away)?

I’m not sure I agree with the comments above about assets. I’m under the impression, which may be wrong, that someone can go after your future income if you have insufficient liability coverage. That would make me nervous.

how much does basic cost now? that car in the midwest is about 25/mo with geico.

I agree with OK but would add theft since you live in NYC.

I agree with lion, do you have enough “emergency money” to pay for any damages or replacement should theft/vandalism occur? I think that year of Civic is pretty high on the list for most stolen vehicles.

Two more things to consider regarding liability coverage:

  1. If you are a pretty decent driver with few or no traffic infractions and do not seem to get yourself into “close call” situations, you can factor this into any decision to carry less insurance coverage.

  2. My agent said, when we were discussing insurance coverage, that an opposing lawyer will consider your coverage limit and will tend to go for that if you were at fault in an accident.

By the way, my agent frequently tries to sell me a million dollar coverage umbrella insurance in addition to regular liability to cover a wrongful death situation. If you do something really stupid such as killing someone while you are driving drunk or if you should blow a stop sign and kill someone, then it might be useful.

I don’t worry much about the car. It’s the big items where you want good coverage but not overly so.

my agent frequently tries to sell me a million dollar coverage umbrella insurance in addition to regular liability to cover a wrongful death situation.

I have one and they’re actually not very expensive depending on where you live and if you have a clean record including making claims.

Although being financially responsible for someone’s death would be horrible, it’s an injured survivor that scares me more. Especially someone young as future earnings are considered. It doesn’t take much health care/rehabilitation to blow through some serious coin these days. You could be financially ruined for life in an instant. My umbrella is something like $20/month extra. And it covers me and my family no matter where we are or doing if the unthinkable happens. Peace of mind = priceless…

You can’t get enough insurance to cover your assets. No matter how much you have, the other persons lawyer will go after everything plus more. But you only buy liability insurance to cover your assets, not the other person. A lot of people will not agree with that statement, but thats the way it is.

If you have a lot of assets to protect, you need a good lawyer and enough insurance to cover his/her fees plus what ever he/she negotiates for a settlement. If you don’t have assets, if you are renting instead of owning your home, have a small bank account, living hand to mouth as they say, then carry the minimum. You cannot afford enough insurance to cover the greed rampant in this country.