When Lakitu counts down the start of every Mario Kart race, players don’t know if they’re in for rainbows, banana peels or haunted planks. Driving in real life is just as unpredictable as Mario Kart, although with bigger consequences.
Whether you’re a student about to get your driver’s license or a parent that remembers the original Super Mario Kart on SNES, let us guide you on auto insurance with multiple references to the iconic game.
Most people would rather play Mario Kart than study an auto insurance policy. But lessons learned from the time-honored Nintendo game can help us better understand a subject that some people find a bit dry, and also emphasize its importance!
Nearly every state except New Hampshire requires car owners to carry a minimum amount of coverage.
Every other state requires liability insurance, think of it as having green shells around your vehicle. If you’re at fault in an accident, liability insurance will pay to repair or replace another driver’s car and cover their medical expenses.
The minimum amount of insurance for Texas drivers is 30/60/25, or $30,000 per injured person up to $60,000 per accident, plus $25,000 for property damage. Note that state minimums may fall far short of covering bodily injury. Would you rather have a single green shell or three green shells surrounding your vehicle?
You can opt to carry more. It’s recommended to carry higher insurance if driving with multiple passengers or a newer vehicle.
In Mario Kart, battles with other drivers are part of the game, just don’t do it in real life! Let’s say you are cut off by another driver on Toad’s Turnpike. Afterwards, you tailgate too closely and eventually get in an accident by rear ending the driver in front. Your car has thousands in damage, but realize, it won’t be covered by your insurance policy. Road rage isn’t a valid cause and your claim will be denied. In addition, rear end collisions almost always end in some fault of the driver.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
What if you’re responsibly driving when you are sideswiped by a driver without insurance? If you have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, your insurance company will take care of the costs. Uninsured motorist coverage isn’t required in Texas, but it’s smart to add it to your auto policy. According to Insurance Journal, 13 percent of all US motorists were uninsured in 2015. Maine was the most responsible state, with only 4.5 percent driving without auto insurance. The worst? Florida at 26.7 percent! Other top five baddies included Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee. At 14.1 % uninsured, Texas was in the middle.
So what kind of nefarious creep drives around without insurance? We’re pretty sure Wario and Bowser are shirking their responsibility. So if you see a guy with a pink nose and pointy ears wearing purple overalls, well, we recommend giving him a lot of space on the road.
No Fault Laws
Twelve states currently have no-fault insurance laws. This means that instead of determining which driver caused an accident, each party tries to recover damages through their own insurance company. However, the other driver might still sue you.
So imagine that Peach and Toad just collided. If the Mushroom Kingdom has no-fault insurance laws, investigators will never have to investigate whether the accident was caused by Toad throwing a Bob-omb or because Peach let a Blooper fly.
Collision coverage is usually optional. Although if you’re leasing a vehicle, it can be required by the lender.
If your car is relatively new, you’ll want to have adequate collision coverage to cover the cost of it being repaired or replaced. If your car is very old, the amount you pay in collision coverage may quickly surpass the blue book value of your junker.
After an accident, your insurer decides whether your car can be fixed or must be totaled. If totaled, you only get your car’s current value, minus depreciation. So if you’re driving a 25 year-old car, give collision coverage a pass. Unless it’s a collectible. Say you got your hands on the Magikruiser – which, you’ll remember, is the world record holder on Sherbet Land. For sure you would shell out for collision insurance.
Comprehensive goes much farther than collision, as the name suggests. This type of coverage comes in handy if your car’s finish is damaged by giant jewels or gold coins, you suffer from vandalism, your car catches on fire, or it slips on a banana peel cruelly thrown down by your nemesis.
Speaking of those jewels and giant gold coins, have you looked into glass coverage to replace your windshield?
Preparing for an Unknown Course
Even after playing a Mario Kart course multiple times, the game is unpredictable because drivers are unpredictable.
Sometimes you can’t see what insurance needs your future will bring. Lightening could strike your car 4 times in a single race or you could fall off the course on Rainbow Road!
Work with an independent insurance agent to help you prepare for threats to the life and liberty of your automobile. No matter what is revealed in an Item Box, we are ready to protect your car and your health!