What Is O.B.E.L. Auto Insurance?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on April 7, 2010

in NY Insurance Issues

Most residents of Buffalo are aware that medical treatment can be expensive.  To protect individuals who have suffered a serious personal injury in an auto accident, New York State’s Insurance Law requires insurance companies to pay up to $50,000 over the first three years after an accident for basic economic loss to an injured customer or occupant of the customer’s vehicle.  Generally, this basic economic loss consists of lost wages and medical expenses.

Unfortunately, when serious injuries occur, this $50,000 may not be enough to cover the insured person’s losses.  To help protect against this, New York State also requires insurance companies to provide customers with the opportunity to purchase Optional Basic Economic Loss (O.B.E.L.) insurance.  This insurance provides an additional $25,000 toward basic economic loss.

You are not required to purchase O.B.E.L. insurance, but if you can afford it, it is a good idea to do so.  $50,000 may sound like a lot of money, but the expenses from a serious injury can mount quickly, and that money may soon be exhausted.

When considering this option, you should also be aware that there are different types of O.B.E.L. to choose from.  You may, for example, choose to have this additional coverage available only for lost wages and not medical expenses.  It’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent to make sure you have the coverage you desire when exploring this option.

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