Having the right auto insurance coverage is critical. Not purchasing the right type of insurance or not purchasing enough insurance can have a devastating impact on you and your family when an accident occurs. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to understand their insurance coverage until an accident occurs, which is too late.
Here’s a guide to the most common types of auto insurance coverage, what the coverage does and does not cover, and what to look for as you read your own policy:
Bodily Injury (BI)
In most states, Bodily Injury coverage is mandatory for licensed drivers who own cars. If you are found at fault for an accident, Bodily Injury coverage pays to compensate injured passengers and other drivers for accident-related medical expenses, lost income from missing work, and accident-related pain and suffering. If you do not have sufficient bodily injury limits to compensate the injured person for their injuries, the injured person may look to your personal assets. Therefore, it is important to consult with an insurance agent to discuss your specific situation.
Bodily Injury coverage can also help pay your legal defense fees if the injured party decides to sue for their injuries. Bodily Injury coverage has limits both for per-person and per-accident injuries.
Property Damage (PD)
Property damage coverage pays for property not owned by you that is damaged in an accident in which you caused. It includes not only other vehicles, but also stationary objects like fences or mail boxes.
Collision coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle after a crash with another vehicle. Some collision coverage also includes payments for towing, rental vehicles, or other necessities as you wait for your car to be fixed. If you do not have collision coverage, and you cause an accident, then you and not the insurance company is responsible for repairing your vehicle.
Comprehensive or “comp” coverage pays for vehicle repairs in a one-vehicle accident or act of nature, like a crash into a fence, an animal, or damage from hailstones or potholes.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UI/UIA)
One of the most commonly overlooked, but most important insurance coverage is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. The coverage kicks in when the driver that caused the accident does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to provide compensation for your injuries. The coverage even compensates you for injuries in a hit-and-run accident wherein the other driver cannot be identified.
Medical Payments coverage is no-fault coverage. It pays medical bills for anyone injured in your vehicle, no matter who was at fault for the accident. Medical payments coverage can help you avoid taking on high-interest short-term debt in order to meet medical bills following a crash.
Since every policy and every insurance company arranges their coverage a little differently, it’s important to look at the terms of your specific policy in order to ensure that you have the type and amount of coverage to protect you and your family. Talk to your insurance agent for information on specific coverages offered by the insurance company and how the coverage applies (or does not apply) after an accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, including a motorcycle or trucking accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. At the Folger Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients seek the compensation they deserve. We work on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay fees unless we recover for you. Contact us today to learn more.