Car insurance: Know your coverage

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You may spend a bundle on car insurance, but many people don't know if their coverage is enough to pay for damages if they're in an accident.

"And generally the public at large is very unaware of what's in their auto insurance policy," said Ross Jurewitz, personal injury attorney.

Jurewitz sees people after they get in a wreck. As a personal injury attorney, Ross says drivers generally don't know much about their insurance until they need it.

"Depending on what kind of insurance you have, in terms of the coverage's and the limits of coverage that you've purchased, your results from your auto accident case could be completely different; in fact it could be drastically different," he said.  

"My conviction is that the vast majority of people that are out there don't really have much of a clue what they have," said Walt Waggener, State Farm Insurance agent.

Waggener has been in the insurance business for 42 years. He says people shopping price alone are sometimes surprised by what is and is not covered by their policy.

"Liability insurance with one company might mean that you're covered, your wife is covered, your sons, your daughters and their friends if you let them use the car, everyone is covered. With other companies it just means the person who's name is on the policy is the only one covered. Anyone else drives it, no coverage," he said.

The question isn't so much, do you have insurance, but what is actually covered? Most people don't know until they need it.

"What you want to do is shop for what your needs are, find out what you need if you got in a catastrophic accident, or if you just lost your car for a month or so, what would you need? Then go about calling different auto insurance companies and shop for the best price then," said Jurewitz.

Jurewitz says drivers are often underprotected when it comes to uninsured and underinsured motorists. Another big mistake.

"My experience is most people carry liability limits that are too low because they don't understand just how much they stand to lose in a lawsuit," he explained.

Compare insurance coverage here.