Important Car Accident Insurance Coverage Options

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Car insurance is just like health insurance.  You hope that you never need it, but if you don’t have sufficient coverage when you do, it can be devastating.  This is why we have listed a few of the policy options that we encourage all of our clients to purchase when renewing or changing their policies.  These options will not only give you peace of mind, but they will insure that our firm will be able to get you the compensation you deserve if an accident occurs.  We ask that you print this page and take it to your insurance agent.  If you do not have any of the coverage options listed below you should ask why they were not offered when you signed up.

Next you should get a quote and sign up for as many of them as you can.  Most of the coverage options listed below will only raise your rates $2 - $10 per month.  This extra amount can increase your ability to recover money for injuries sustained in a car accident by $50,000 to $100,000.  You can see that the extra monthly premium is easily worth the extra coverage you receive.  Just ask someone who has been in a wreck with a person who did not have insurance. It can be the difference between a full and healthy recovery or a completely devastating life event.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This coverage allows you to get compensated for any damages that the other person’s policy does not cover because of the policy limits.  Most people buy the “cheap” policy that only offers state mandated minimum policy amounts.  These amounts for a single occupant only cover $20,000.00 in damages.  If you break a leg or have internal bleeding or require serious rehabilitative therapy $20,000.00 is going to last about as long as it takes for the ambulance to show up.  You need at least $100,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage which would bring your total to amount of compensation for a car wreck to $120,000.00.  This amount will cover most ambulance and emergency room visits as well as leave funds available for rehabilitation and compensation to you for your pain and suffering.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

This type of coverage is probably the most important coverage you can carry.  Because we live in Texas we are faced with a unique situation regarding immigrants who work very hard in our state, but unfortunately are not able to get a driver’s license or insurance for the cars they travel in.  These drivers then get into wrecks and are unable to compensate a person for the injuries sustained as a result of the accident.  The injured party is simply left without any means of recovery.  This is why we ask our clients to get at least $100,000.00 to $150,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage.  If you cannot afford this much coverage get at least $20,000.00 in coverage which is the minimum coverage amount all drivers are required to carry anyway.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP)

This coverage is very unique in that it allows you to receive payments for your injuries even if the wreck was your fault.  The worst feeling in the world has to be getting into a car wreck that is your fault, getting sued and having no coverage options for your own injuries.  This is peace of mind coverage.  It allows you to know that regardless the circumstances you will be taken care of if you are ever in a wreck and liability is an issue.  Most insurance companies offer a PIP policy between $5,000.00 and $10,000.00 with an increase in rates of about $2.00 per month.  Again, the increase in the premium is worth the coverage you will receive.

Another benefit of this coverage is the speed at which you will receive it.  Personal injury claims can take years before they settle out depending on what your recovery and rehabilitative timeline is.  Insurance companies and attorneys want to make sure that you have been treated and all injuries have been accounted for before settling your claim.  This can take time.  We have used the PIP money for our clients while they were waiting to settle out the larger claim against the other party many times before.  The insurance company cannot refuse to pay you this money regardless of who is at fault for the wreck.

Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage

Guess what?  Car accidents cause car damages.  Get this coverage.  You are going to need it while your car is in the shop getting fixed or while you are out shopping for a replacement car.

GAP Insurance

This coverage pays off the loan on your car if it is a total loss due to a wreck or act of god.  Basically, every car you will ever purchase is worth less than the amount owed on it as soon as the car is driven off the lot.  Basic insurance coverage will only cover the amount that the car is worth.  You are stuck with having to pay the difference even though you don’t have the car any longer.  What a rip off right?  Lawyers are mixed about this coverage.  Our bankruptcy colleagues state that you are only protecting the car note holder of a default.  We think that it allows for you to protect your credit without having to file bankruptcy to get rid of the debt.  It also helps you avoid harassing creditor calls regarding a debt that you are never going to pay because you lost the benefit of the vehicle.

From the author: Dallas Car Accident Attorney