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By Diana T. Torres

Imagine hitting a Bugatti Veyron (estimated value $2,767,800 US dollars), a Rolls Royce Phantom (around $450,000), or a Bentley ($200,000). If you’re carrying low insurance rates, how would you pay for any damages?

The odds that you will hit a car costing over $50,000 are not as far-fetched as you may think. According to Autodata Corp., today there is a one in 12 chance that an accident will include a higher end vehicle.

The minimum or legal requirements for coverage can vary by state. While New York’s minimum requirement for liability is $10,000, California’s is $5,000. Forget about hitting a Bentley, with these rates if you hit a “regular” car, you’ll probably find yourself stuck with one heck of a bill. An average new car costs from $23,131 for a 2012 Toyota Prius to $35,298 for a 2012 Honda Accord Crosstour, according to US News.

What’s that old saying, “You get what you pay for?” The cheapest insurance policies carry the lowest coverage, in many cases; they exclude coverage that protects your own vehicle such as, collision and comprehensive insurance. These policies reduce limits to their legal requirements. 

Why take a chance because you want to save a couple of bucks? Even if you hit a car costing $23,000 and only carry $10,000 in liability, where will that leave you? If you are at fault, attorneys for the other party’s insurance company may take you to court and go after your wages or assets.

At the very least, it would be wise to investigate the cost to carry 100/300/50 limits on your insurance policy, which is $100,000 per person in bodily injury liability, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 property damage liability.

Don’t assume carrying higher rates will be out of your reach. Many things factor into the final premium—such as a good driving record, or if you have completed a defensive driving course or your vehicle is equipped with safety devices.

In the end, carrying a suitable amount of auto insurance will provide the coverage you will need in case of an accident and peace of mind that your wages and assets will be protected.