The most exasperating thing I hear from my clients following an auto accident is when I ask about my client’s auto insurance and they tell me: “I’ve got full coverage”. Typically, that means they have minimum required coverage with nothing extra. Sometimes their limits are higher than the minimum, and they may have some of the optional coverages, but seldom do they possess all the coverage they need. This often means they will be unable to maximize their personal injury claim. That’s why I want to tell you about the:
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage pays for medical bills for all occupants of a vehicle for their accident injuries, regardless of fault. Your agent may tell you that you don’t need it if you have health insurance. Wrong! What about your huge deductible? Co-pays? Co-insurance? What if your passenger(s) has no health insurance? What if you need someone who doesn’t take your insurance? Out of network? Med pay, as it’s called, is cheap, and agents don’t like to sell it because med pay claims cost them money. You may even be able to put your med pay right in your pocket, legally. I suggest you carry at least $5,000.00, or as much they let you.
Full Limits Uninsured And Under-Insured Coverage
A lot of bad drivers either have no insurance or the minimum limits. They may drive into you and hurt you. You need insurance coverage to make up for their lack of coverage. Otherwise you may not receive full value for your claim. Make sure you don’t just buy minimum limits on these coverages. I have seen clients with huge amounts of coverage inexplicably opt for minimum coverage here. It puts them in the same boat with drivers who pay a fraction of what they do and costs them huge sums of money on their serious injury uninsured or underinsured claim.
If you have the underlying coverage, you can obtain a $500,000.00 or $1,000,000.00 umbrella policy for a lot less than you think. That is why agents don’t like to sell these policies, or even tell you about them. The company could take a huge hit with a very small upside for the agent and the company. The premium might be only a couple hundred dollars per year. Here’s a little-known secret: You can “wrap” your umbrella around your uninsured and underinsured coverage, to add $1,000,000.00 to your $100,000.00 or $250,000.00 policy (Your agent probably won’t tell you this, either). That’s important in a serious accident so that you don’t have to rely on the limits of the at-fault driver or just on your underlying limits. Why should your umbrella only cover other people?
If the person who hits you has no property damage coverage, too little coverage, of if the accident is your fault, insurance will not fix or replace your car—unless you have collision coverage. Moreover, even if the person who caused the accident has coverage, it can take weeks or months before the carrier accepts liability, leaving you without a vehicle or with a large out-of-pocket expense. Which leads us to the next coverage:
If you cause an accident, or if the at-fault driver’s insurance is taking their sweet time accepting liability, you will need to go out of pocket for a rental until your car is fixed or replaced, if you don’t have rental coverage. This process can take weeks, or even months, and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars without rental coverage; that is if you can afford to pay for a rental. Otherwise, you will need to borrow a vehicle, use public transportation, or ask others for a lift, if you don’t purchase rental coverage, which is relatively cheap. The most agitated clients I deal with are the ones who have lost their form of transportation. Don’t let it happen to you.
To ensure coverage of your legal needs, whether it’s a personal injury, family law or other matter, call us here at Samuels Law Group PLC (480) 565-2000. Or email us at [email protected]. We’ve got you covered, with over 28 years of legal experience.