"whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"
These immortal words of William Shakespeare (that I changed a little bit) were uttered by Prince Hamlet when determining if he should make a drastic change in his life, or if he should continue with his current life.
This may sound like a life insurance post, but it is not. We're going to talk about auto insurance! Specifically, when should you stop covering your vehicle for full coverage?
Before I can answer the "full coverage" question, we need to have a basic understanding of your car insurance.
Auto Insurance has 3 basic parts; Liability, Collision, and Comprehensive. The examples below are going to be general overview and informative only. Individual claims and claim information can vary from company to company and state to state, so your insurance company's decision on coverage may be different than the examples below.
Liability insurance is the part that covers other people and things; Bodily Injury, Property Damage, and Medical Payments, some States will call it Personal Injury Protection, but is the same principal. The idea is that if you get into a car accident with a person or a thing and you're at fault or at least 51% at fault, your insurance will step up and pay up to the limits of your chosen liability. So, if you've chosen higher limits, your insurance company will pay up to a higher amount. Lower limits mean a lower payout. This is another blog for another day, but a quick thought is you want higher limits because the insurance company will only pay up to that limit and you're on your own after that!
Collision is when you collide with something. If you hit a guardrail, if you hit a car, if you hit your garage, etc. If you have Collision coverage, you normally have a deductible of some kind. Depending on the company you have insurance with it can be as little as $0 and as much as $5000. The deductible is the amount you're responsible for, and is the first portion of the payout. So, if you have a collision and it is $1000 worth of damage and you have a $500 Deductible, the insurance company will pay $500. If it is $300 of damage and you have a $500 deductible, there will be no payout.
Comprehensive is when something out of your control happens to your vehicle. If your car is struck by a tree or hail, an animal jumps in front of your car, someone steals your car, etc. Like Collision, comprehensive has a deductible and it works in the same way. Comprehensive also encompasses towing, rental car, and any additional coverages your company may add. Auto-Owners (who I have my insurance with) offers coverage on my cellphone if it is damaged in a car accident. This is part of Comprehensive coverage.
So, now that we have a basic definition of the 3 parts of auto insurance, they are commonly split into Liability (sometimes called "PLPD") and Full Coverage. So, if you only have liability only on your vehicle, it will not cover your car, only the other person. There are a few reasons why you may go with liability only.
You may decide it is too expensive to have full coverage. You may decide that your vehicle is no longer worth enough to have full coverage. You may decide you have the funds to replace a vehicle on your own without the need of insurance so you'll not keep it. You may have a young driver and want to only have liability on their vehicle because their car isn't worth much. Whatever your reasoning, you are not required to keep full coverage if you own your vehicle outright. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, most lending institutions will require full coverage on vehicles they have a loan on.
So, to answer the question, to insure or not to insure. Like Hamlet, you have to decide if the "arrows of fortune" will be in your favor. If not, full coverage would be the best idea. If you think you can dodge the arrows, try going PLPD. It's your choice, but hopefully now you're a little more well informed.