June 22, 2018
Do you know if you’re covered and for how much? Most people don’t really know the extent of their auto insurance off the top of their head, and who can blame them? Between limits, liability, collision, medpay, uninsured motorist, it’s all so confusing and very rarely well explained when you’re perusing a website just trying to get coverage and stay legal. But the decisions you make when you go to purchase insurance can have drastic consequences if you’re ever in an accident.
There are essentially four types of coverage available. Only one, however, is required by law. They are:
Liability insurance is the only coverage required by law. Different states have different minimum amounts of coverage ($25,000.00 in Ohio), but every state requires every vehicle driven on its roads to carry basic liability coverage. Liability coverage strictly covers other drivers and their vehicles for accidents you cause. This includes the injuries and pain and suffering to the passengers and the damage to the other vehicle. Liability coverage alone does not cover your vehicle or the people injured inside of it whatsoever.
This type of insurance covers the physical damage to the insured vehicle, no matter the source of the damage. This includes accidents you cause, incidental damage you have nothing to do with (like if a baseball breaks your windshield while you’re parked at a little league field), and, of course, the physical damage caused in accidents you do not cause. Even if you don’t cause the accident and your car is damaged, you can still use your collision coverage and any related rental policy to get your car fixed- your insurance company will seek to be repaid by the at fault party’s insurance, but you won’t have to do anything to make sure they do. This is often the best option immediately after an accident- you can get your car fixed and have a rental while the at-fault party’s insurance sorts out the details, which can sometimes take weeks.
As the name suggests, uninsured motorist coverage provides the benefits of liability coverage when another driver causes an accident with you but does not have insurance. Usually, use of Uninsured Motorist coverage does not raise your insurance premiums. It covers both the damage and injuries caused by the other driver. In the unfortunate event of a hit-skip or hit-and-run accident (two names for the same thing!), most uninsured motorist policies will provide coverage most of the time.
Medical payments coverage is in many ways the most misunderstood but one of the most useful types of auto insurance coverage you can have. In many ways, it’s like collision coverage, but for your body. Even in accidents where you’re at fault, medical payments coverage, often called “medpay” will help you pay your medical bills. This includes ER bills as well as physical therapy or chiropractic bills you may accrue as a result of the accident. Usually, they pay the provider directly so you don’t have to worry about it.
You never know when you’ll end up in an accident. It happens to everyone at some point in time and the insurance situation for each party is as unpredictable as a storm on a hot summer night. If you buy the right coverage when you renew your policy though, you’ll be sure to have your bills paid, your car fixed, and your pain and suffering compensated, no matter what type of coverage the other driver has.
Attorney Jacobs believes that everyone deserves a lawyer and always strives to achieve the best available legal outcomes for his clients. Attorney Jacobs cannot make promises as to what legal outcome he will be able to achieve for his clients; however, Attorney Jacobs can promise you that the care and concern he will show for you and your legal needs will be second to none. If you sustained a personal injury, the law firm of Daniel L. Jacobs Jr. LLC and Attorney Jacobs are here to assist you.
If you have any questions about financial compensation for an injury sustained in an accident or during a medical procedure, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
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