Understanding Your Vehicle Insurance Coverage
Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to pay cheaper insurance premiums? The truth is that insurance coverage is not “one size fits all” and you must customize your policy based on your specific needs. It is very important that you are very honest in your application when purchasing insurance. If the insurance company finds out that you have omitted or given false information, they can cancel the policy or refuse to pay out on a claim. Therefore, it is important understanding your vehicle insurance coverage and how it can potentially affect you after an accident.
Every state has different required coverage’s. Liability coverage is the minimum requirement by insurance companies that helps pay for the other parties’ damaged property and bodily injuries if the insured is considered “at fault.” It typically does not pay for damages to your own vehicle after an accident.
For example, if you’re involved in an accident with another driver, and you have liability coverage, your options are limited. If the other driver’s insurance company is delaying the acceptance of fault for the accident and your car is either damaged or totaled, you must wait until the other party accepts liability and commences the repairs of your car or pays you the market value for your vehicle.
Full Coverage Misconception
There is no policy for car insurance that goes by the name “full coverage”. This term is commonly mistaken to make people believe that their vehicle is taken care of in any given circumstance. Unfortunately, some people do not understand what they are purchasing until after they have been affected in an incident.
Full coverage includes:
- State-Required Liability Takes care of bodily and property damages to others in an accident that you caused.
- Collision Coverage Pays for damages to your vehicle in the event of an accident (no matter who is at fault).
- Comprehensive Coverage Covers damages to your vehicle as a result of theft, vandalism, flood, or fire.
Purchasing insurance is the law, but it is also a means to protect yourself from financial risk caused by vehicle damages, injuries, or even death. If you’re in an accident, regardless if it’s your fault or not, you can mitigate your damages and process a claim through your insurance. According to the Department of Motor vehicles (DMV), states have laws that disallow insurance companies from raising your base premium if you are not at fault and if you file a claim under your comprehensive coverage.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your incident, you may want to consider adding the following coverage’s to your policy.
- Gap Insurance Helps pay the balance owed between the financial amount and the fair market value of your vehicle, in the event that it is totaled.
- Med-Pay Pays for medical expenses that you and any passengers in your vehicle incur from injuries sustained in an accident.
- Uninsured Motorist (UM) Provides the driver and any of its passengers to compensation from damages resulting from an uninsured and negligent driver.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Covers damages or medical expenses when the at-fault driver’s liability limits are too low.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Waives your deductible and pays for damages to your vehicle caused by an uninsured motorist. In most policies, the at fault driver or owner of the uninsured vehicle must be identified.
- Rental Expenses Helps pay for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is in the body shop for repairs or inspection.
- Road Service Provides assurance that you will have emergency roadside assistance in case of a flat tire, lock out, breakdown, or any other vehicle malfunction.
Be an Educated Consumer
Typically the cheapest and most affordable insurance doesn’t always provide the best coverage. Don’t wait until after you’re been involved in a serious or life-threatening accident to find out what resources you have available to you and your family. Compare insurance company policies and their rates, to make an educated decision on what plan that best suits your needs and budget. Take the time in understanding your vehicle insurance coverage to minimize your financial risks after an accident.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can result in serious or fatal injuries. Contact Sweet Law Group, and let us help you through this difficult process. With our experienced and skilled professionals leading the way, you will greatly improve your chances for receiving the benefits that are owed. Call our offices today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 203-3061 .
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