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Understanding Car Insurance

When I was 21, I passed my licensing exams in Arizona for Property, Casualty, Life and Health Insurance, which meant going on to work at State Farm and Geico for a few years. I was grateful to learn about different insurances, and really understand what each coverage means–particularly car insurance.

I want to explain auto insurance coverage in (hopefully) easy-to-understand terms for others who may wonder, what the heck does insurance cover?

For those with multiple assets (homes, cars, 401k's, rentals, stocks) and a lot of dough to protect, go ahead and skip this article–and call your insurance agent to discuss the right plan for you because I'm talkin' today to those on a budget, who may wonder if they are getting enough protection for their premium, and if I were back in the insurance office what I would say to explain their coverage and make sure they were adequately protected.

The main coverage types that I will discuss are: 
  • Bodily Injury Liability
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Medical Payments
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Un-insured
  • Under-insured

1. Bodily Injury:

Insurance Definition: "Bodily Injury and Property Damage liability limits are the maximum indemnity amounts your automobile insurance policy will pay for accidentally injuring someone or damaging their property" (, 2013). 

In other words...
This is a coverage that only pays other people's medical bills involved in an accident with your insured vehicle or driver. You and your passengers are not covered under this limit–just the other people. 

In my state, the minimum amount legally required to drive an insured vehicle are: "$15,000/$30,000." $15,000 pays the damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.) for each PERSON, and $30,000 is the total the insurance policy will pay for the entire accident occurence. 

This one always confused people, so I'll break it down in a pretend accident:

Let's say your husband doesn't stop soon enough at a stop sign and rams the back of a Porsche, is found at-fault for accident, which involves a 50-year-old woman and her Porsche. Johnny is covered under your insurance policy. This lady ends up having $41,303 in medical damages and "pain and suffering" as well as $23,240 in damages to her Porsche. That's a grand total of $64,543. Well guess what? Your measly little state minimum policy ran out at about $25,000. That leaves YOU a balance of $39,543 if you are sued in court and deemed liable. They take garnished wages quite seriously.

Don't be a victim of the "state minimum" requirements. Do better for yourself and increase your peace of mind as well as protection down the road–should anything (hopefully not) happen. I saw too many people with low limits on their policies getting completely screwed over after an accident. They just didn't know until it was too late, no one told them what these limits meant and how $15,000 doesn't go very far in medical bills and $10,000 doesn't even really cover the cost of a new car. What if there's also damage to a building tacked on?

And really think about it, the above example isn't that "out there" or "extreme" of a case–it could happen. And look where that family would be–basically inadequately protected.

I recommend to anyone as a true "minimum" – $50,000/100,000(bodily injury) and $50,000 or $100,000 (property damage).

On our Geico policy, for two late 20's drivers and two regular vehicles, the premium for these limits is

Call and ask your insurance company for a free quote just to see how much it would cost to raise your insurance "limits" to the next level or so. When I worked for State Farm and Geico, I was always telling other moms about their coverages and quoting them to raise their limits–sometimes only $20 every six months for tens of thousands more in coverage.

If the increase is still more than you can afford right now, it's something to at least keep in mind down the road after a raise or an increase in income.

I highly recommend:
$50,000/$100,000 bodily injury limit for anyone with an insurance policy
$100,000/$300,000 for those who own a home.

Bodily Injury (BI) Liability coverage pays damages for other people's injuries or death resulting from an at-fault accident involving an insured vehicle or driver. This may include medical treatment, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering. In the event of a serious accident, these costs can become substantial. If you do not carry a sufficient limit of insurance, your personal assets and earnings could be at risk. You should choose a coverage limit that will adequately protect your assets. BI coverage also includes payment for certain legal fees, bail bonds, and court costs that you might incur.

BI provides two limits of coverage. The first figure is the maximum amount we will pay for injury or death to any one person. The second figure is the maximum we will pay (regardless of the number of people involved) for injury or death stemming from a single occurrence. Please see your contract for state specific coverage details.

Comprehensive & Collision cover your vehicle only.

Comprehensive: Covers your car under anything other than an accident (fire, theft, vandalism, tornado...etc)
Collision: Covers your car in the event it collides with another vehicle

My Recommendations:
These are the minimums I truly recommend for most people.

Bodily Injury: 50,000/100,000 minimum  (Arizona state minimum
PD: 50k minimum
Medical: 1,000 minimum

Collision: $500 deductible, and don't have it if car is worth less than $2,500.

*Tip: Auto insurance generally follows the vehicle, not the driver.

*Tip: With auto insurance, always carry the highest limits you can comfortably afford. Auto insurance really is one of the most important things you can have, and the better off you  will be should you ever need it (hopefully you never do). Sometimes, thousands more in coverage costs only a few dollars.

Comprehensive: $100, $250 or $500

I recommend carrying a $250 deductible if it's not that much of a difference in price, $100 if you can afford it, of course all based on your insurance company and pricing. A $500 deductible is fine and very typical. That just means that in the event insurance company pays the value of your vehicle after it is submitted under a claim, they will "subtract" the deductible first. Let's say you have a Mustang and it's bluebook is $5200. If you carry a $500 deductible, your insurance would give  you a check for $4700 (subtracting $500 deductible from $5200 value). They do this help reduce the number of claims filed, and to help prevent insurance fraud.

Tip: Emergency Road Service & Rental Car: I recommend these both. They're so cheap and cover a battery jump, towing, flat tire repair, or a rental should your vehicle need repairs following a collision. 

*Tip: Some companies give you an additional discount for having a child, as  they
presume the family members will be safer drivers. Check with yours next time! 

When I was younger, I thought insurance and payments were an annoyance. I didn't think of the benefits of insurance and how it really is a protection, not an annoyance. However, we only seem to appreciate it when it's our things needing to be replaced or fixed after a catastrophe. 

But when I started to understand the importance of insurance (particularly after my own car was broken into), and to think about third world countries where streets are unpaved and cars are a rarity, it makes a person more willing to make that payment each month, for that peace of mind. It's a privilege really, to be able to "protect" a possession's worth. So when you couple understanding with appreciation, it can make your life that much more peaceful and happier. =)

"Umbrella insurance is designed to give one added liability protection above and beyond the limits on homeowners, auto, and watercraft personal insurance policies. With an umbrella policy, depending on the insurance company, one can add an additional 1-5 million in liability protection" 

*Tip: A "Personal Umbrella Policy" is a must-have for anyone with assets worth protecting - including a home, vehicle, boat, business, savings, 401k, etc.  

One thing I want to recommend to anyone with a home or assets is getting a "personal umbrella policy" (often called a PIP or PUP). This policy is literally like an umbrella of coverage, kicking in after your auto and homeowners insurance limits are exhausted, in the event you are sued. 

An umbrella policy is generally carried through your car insurance company as coverage up to a million dollars in case you or anyone in your household is sued. 

I had a friend who's husband was at-fault in an accident for t-boning a lady in a sedan one night. The lady wasn't injured, but sued them anyways and started coming after their house and 401k's! They ended up eventually having to pay her off out of court. 

Now, they have an umbrella policy worth up to 1 million in protection. 

The fact is, in today's "sue happy" culture, you never know when some crazy is going to come along and sue you. Did you know you can get sued if your dog bites someone on your property or if a guest trips and falls and they have medical bills? You just never know. That's why an umbrella policy makes sense especially for homeowners. 

"Almost every state has financial responsibility laws that will hold drivers accountable for bodily injury and property damage resulting from car accidents and the at fault driver could be sued for the damage. Personal assets from the at fault driver could be seized resulting from a lawsuit. Similar laws are also in force for home and watercraft owners" ( 




I wish my dad were still alive. 

As it is, all I can do is ensure I am always there for my the physical, mental and emotional. And if God forbid my time should come early, at least she could hopefully know I always cared and always loved her, no matter what. 

And when I write 'no matter what,' I mean, the very worst she could be and I would still love her and be there for her... I would love her if she were in prison, strung out on drugs, binge drinking in a bar somewhere...I would go and pick her up 10,000 times in a row and still love her. I would question  where -I- went wrong as her parent. I would expect myself to have given her the knowledge that Jesus loves her no matter what, and I love her no matter what. I would hope for her to have a happy, safe, beautiful life... but we just don't ever really know, do we? 

I want her to be happy within herself, even in her darkest hour, that she can still find strength from God and love from herself. I want her to just know she is loved and accepted.... 

Because hurt may come to her, because life will probably seem utterly hopeless sometimes, and because I am the one who gave her life and (selfishly) made her come into this world-it's my responsibility to help get her through it safely, until she's 40+, if she'll have me. 

I don't fit in this life...I don't understand this world we live in... I am literally 'in the world but not of it...'

I suppose my struggles make me stronger, remember my Creator, and keep me humbled...

So my goals for the rest of my days:
Love God with all my heart, mind and soul. 
Be a good mom and wife. 
Be a good counselor to little kids. 
Be a good person to those I am in contact with.
Love my neighbor, and try to get thru this life sanely. 

And really, at the end of our '80ish' years on this planet....
Who cares so much about money, homes, furniture, cars, fans, status, making "it," when you have only yourself to take with you to Heaven... or the other place. 

I will always fight to keep safe. I will never let anyone stand in the way of my dreams. My dreams are get to Heaven-in tact and in worship of my Creator, no matter what this Earthly life brings against me.

I praise God for making it 36 years safely... I pray my next 36 are safe. Oh my goodness. 


Would I Ever Get Remarried? Probably Not.

When I was growing up, my parents got a divorce when I was 6, my mom tells me it was mostly due to my dad's drinking alcohol and them fighting.

He died on a Thursday and I had to go back to school the following Monday. I was 14.

I remember for many years during church or family functions, comments would be made to my mother about things like, "When do you think you'll get remarried?" or "been dating anyone special?"

I didn't really think much of her being asked things like this because I grew up learning from Disney movies the "value" of "being married" and finding a husband. All of my Barbies wanted a husband, a someone special. I'd been dreaming of having my own family and children since I was a young girl playing dress-up and dolls.

It wasn't until I was 30 years old, my daughter was just turning 2, and my husband left town for two weeks for work training that I found the realization of what life would be truly like without him.

It gave me so much more empathy for my mom.

Everything she went through was alone, but she never gave up on us. She never gave up hope and she never left us, abused us, or let anyone into our lives who would abuse us.

Why were people so quick to ask about her marital status instead of how life really was or the issues in the world that actually matter?

During the two weeks my husband was away, I started to realize how truly lonely it is for single moms. My mom was a single mom, but I never thought she was "lonely"-- she has us!!! Now I realize, it must've been extremely lonely for her. How did she stay sane?

While my husband was gone it was very lonely at nighttime. It was scary imagining what I would do if some crazy were to break in. It was awful to imagine what I would do if a pipe burst or leak started somewhere or I needed car help with a large insect or....

Anyhow. I'm not saying things could change and one never knows what might happen, but, I already know in my heart and mind I would just surrender my life to God and go about the rest of my days serving Him and helping children, if I were to ever end up single..

I can't imagine starting over. I can't imagine going to another wedding, another anything...

This is it for me. Just like my mom, I don't think I ever could remarry.


Baby Bubbles on a Budget

We have tried a multitude of bubbles during my daughter's bathtime over the past couple years. I love "Babyganics bubble bath" because it's overall the best deal in my opinion.

First off, it's easy to find - Target. Second, the bubbles actually LAST through an entire bath! And lastly, it's made with extra gentle plant-based ingredients. ($5.99)

"Specially formulated to preserve the natural barrier protection of delicate skin and mucosal tissue to keep baby healthy and happy.

NeoNourish Natural Seed Oil Blend is designed to help nurture and support the unique needs of baby's skin. Natural tomato, sunflower, cranberry, and red raspberry seed oils help support healthy skin development and deliver antioxidant protection."

Beginning of bath bubbles...

End of bath bubbles...

Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, synthetic fragrances. Tear free. Never tested on animals. A win-win-win. :)

**No compensation has been made for this review. Just a happy consumer sharing an opinion.**


"Mommy I want a new planet.."

My five-year-old recently told me, "Mom, I just want to live on a new planet."

We were just getting out of the car, into the hot desert 100 degree sun. She really hates 100-degree weather. In some ways, it is truly unbearable: desert life.

And truth be told, other than playing 'Super Mario Galaxy' Wii with her dad on occasion...I don't really know where she got this idea. We haven't talked about other planets, yet...

So I was kind of in awe. How can a little kid think of such funny ideas on their own..? I just love it. I love the innocence of little children.

The other day, I was telling God I felt kind of sad that I would be going back to work soon, and, leaving my little life here. Five years of stay-at-hom mommy-hood has now come to an end, as my little one will start Kinder this month, and for our family's sake I need to go back to work.

Prior to my life as a stay-at-home mom, I worked as a licensed insurance associate, also as a government licensed area director overseeing au pairs, and for 7 years as a marketing assistant for a media group which hosted a local news station and 4 radio stations.

I feel the best years were staying home with my daughter, compared to alllll of my working years.

In the business world, you can seriously be replaced pretty quickly, no matter how many years you put in. If you quit or are let go, there is almost always someone ready to "fill your role" in about 2 weeks time.

As for a mom? That "role" is pretty much irreplaceable.

We as humans have this hungry desire to have parents, have love, and acceptance. We also usually want to 'please our parents.' Sometimes we grow up and realize we can never please them, while some of us have been able to please our parents no matter what. I just really hope... I am pleasing God, and that at the end of this life, he will still be pleased with me and love me..


Jesus explaining marriage in the afterlife...

Luke 20:27-40King James Version (KJV)
Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.  Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.

- - - - - - -

(Mark 12:18-27Luke 20:27-40, Matthew 22:23-33) 
23The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

- - - - - - - 

The Greatest Commandment
34But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


One Day at a Time

Honestly, sometimes I can barely handle the day-to-day stresses of "this life," without feeling like I just might fall apart. Every stressful email, or to-do task, or disgruntled family member, or work problem etc....I just sometimes want to fall into my bed and not get back up.

But of course, that's not really an option. Of course I have to continue on. I see things through Christian eyes now, and I tell you, it's actually a lot harder in some ways to now get through life. Before, when I could dull my spiritual senses to mundane church tasks and once per week visits to "worship God," I just didn't even realize the prison we all live in. Yes, part of me asks God, how can you just leave us here? How can you bear even one child sacrifice, or rape, or murder or torture, How? I am not given the answer just yet, because it probably won't be made clear until this is all over.

But my gosh, to be born in the 1980' the midst of all this psycho illumi-loser world elite running our lives through demonic forces and damm! I just thought we lived in the world, tryin to survive, and that was it!


Yes, this world is a crazy dimensional holographic who-knows-what, and I am still trying to survive, but by the grace of God I am trying. I'm trying to go on and find a strong enough will in myself to never give up. I don't know. I am literally overwhelmed with the truths of our existence. I cling to my Bible, and some may make fun of me, but I don't care because even some in my own family have turned me what do I care if a stranger does as well?

I just want this world to be over already...ready for the 1000 years with Jesus Christ, ready! I pray God would let it end; all of the misery and suffering of children and women in this world. I pray for my soul, for mercy and protection from our enemies...and God has shown me so many things I need to be made aware of as a true follower of Jesus.

Yet despite the hoping for the end, I am dang thankful for the beauty of this life... to just be a part of it... to be able to still make a difference, have a voice, be a human and glorify God... I'm thankful God didn't end my life any sooner... I'm thankful I can turn away the devil and hail Jesus in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit.... I'm thankful to be given the gift of the Holy Spirit to discern...and I'm thankful God found enough in me to give me mercy that I don't deserve.

As parents, as the "creators" of our kids, we think it's great when they love us in return, when they say nice things to us and show us what must it be like when God created us, and waits for us to glorify Him, talk to Him, be his friend also....and we actually do! I bet He is truly filled with a little bit of happiness from each of us, and I can only humbly ask to be a part of His heavenly body and to be written in the book of life, amen.

I will never entertain the thought of suicide, because, God has strengthened me and humbled me, and has given me a second chance at life, to avoid hell at ALL cost, and to be able to walk with Jesus when he comes to this Earth to save mankind.


In Jesus' name, Amen.


Introverts {&} Extroverts

I wanted to share an extremely enlightening personality distinction from the book, "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. 


"Extraversion and introversion describe how we get our energy, an important dimension of personality development. Spirited kids need energy to manage their strong temperament. It takes a great deal of effort to express intensity as assertiveness rather than aggressiveness."


"Introverts get their energy by being alone or with one or two special people. They prefer to interact with the world on the inside by reflecting on their thoughts and ideas before sharing them with others on the outside. They refresh themselves by spending time alone. If they get it, they'll play well with other kids and be more cooperative. If they don't get (alone time) they'll get surly and nasty."


"Extroverts draw their energy from others. They prefer to engage the world around them outside their bodies by talking with people, sharing ideas and experiences. If they don't have the opportunity to talk, they get crabby and more demanding because they are running out of steam. If they are allowed to recharge by being with other people they are fine."


Yes, as an Introvert, I can validate that the only way for Introverts to "unwind" and gain energy is by having alone time. It doesn't even have to be very long. A half hour to an hour is often plenty. When your Introvert child gets home from school, or your Introvert spouse gets home work, ask them a polite "how was your day?" And don't take it personal if they answer a short "fine" and continue on to their room to read, play a video game, and just unwind for a bit. You want a happy kid? Please give them the space they need.

"Traditionally the term introvert has described someone who is shy and socially unskilled. It's important to remember ...introversion and extraversion do not describe social skills. They explain how we get our energy. Both introverts and extroverts can be very savvy interacting with people. The key is what happens afterward. The introvert will be drained and ready for a nap...whereas the extravert will be wound up and ready for more action."

Introverts are drained as they socialize. Sharing space also takes lots of energy from introverted Spirited children. If an introvert is busy, it's very difficult to be interrupted (even just by stopping to say hello or "good job"). Interruptions rob energy, create a loss of focus and annoyance.

Another point I will make about Introverts is that if/when they are ready to share something, they will. But when pushed to "figure out their feelings" on a time limit, they will most likely either shut down or become grumpy. Don't be surprised if you sit back, give them space, listen and don't judge if they start to open up more.  Introverts have to guard their energy supplies. "If you want your introvert to be socially respectful, teach him to say hello, then allow him to finish his task. By doing so, you respect his energy supply" (Kurcinka, 2004).

I have known extroverts who when not around someone to talk with, share ideas, get feedback and tell their stories to for an extended period of time become quite grumpy. Extroverts need to talk in order to make decisions. "They are energizing themselves by interacting with others. Any activities that will allow your (extrovert) child to interact with others will build her energy supply." They really need to hear how good they are doing, approval, lots of positive feedback to recharge. Extroverts are usually first to volunteer for committee's or group meetings at work and make excellent friends.

Pay attention to your friends, family members and co-workers, and you will be surprised at the distinctions. :)


Kurcinka, M. S. (1998). Raising Your Spirited Child. New York, NY: HarperCollins.