One of the largest question marks in the aftermath of a serious car accident is insurance. Do you have the right kind of coverage? Does everyone else? Is there enough coverage? Will medical bills be paid? The answers to these questions are determined by your auto insurance coverage. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth cannot tell you which insurance options are best for you, but we can tell you about the insurance options available and how each type of coverage could affect you In the event of a car accident.
Liability insurance is the only car insurance required by the law. There are two specific types of liability insurance: bodily injury liability insurance, and property damage liability insurance. In California, all drivers and vehicles must have a minimum bodily injury liability policy of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident and a minimum property damage liability policy of $5,000 per accident.
Liability insurance is the most important car insurance, as it is designed to protect others if you cause a car crash. Liability insurance only applies if you are found at fault for an accident. If that happens, you are responsible for the other parties’ medical care and property damage, which is what liability insurance covers. And if you are not found at fault for a car accident but don’t have liability insurance, you are not eligible to receive payments for pain and suffering, drastically reducing your ability to recover financially after a crash.
Bottom line is that everyone should have this type of insurance to protect themselves and everyone around them should the unexpected happen. Driving without liability insurance can result in expensive fines, vehicle impoundment, and a suspension of your license.
This type of insurance will pay for medical expenses if you are involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Medical payment insurance covers an ambulance ride, hospital visits, and diagnostics up to the policy limit.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM)
While liability insurance is required by law, nearly one in six drivers in California get behind the wheel without it. If an uninsured driver crashes into your vehicle, it can be very difficult to receive compensation for your injuries and property damage. UIM insurance makes sure you can treat your injuries and fix your car if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
And if your medical bills exceed someone’s insurance policy limits, UIM will make up the difference. For example, if a driver with $15,000 liability insurance crashes into you and your medical bills are $20,000, UIM insurance will make sure your medical bills are covered. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth strongly recommends that drivers obtain UIM insurance.
If you are not at fault in an accident, your vehicle repairs are covered by the responsible party’s liability insurance. But if you are at fault, collision insurance will pay for any damage to your vehicle sustained in an accident. Collision insurance is usually subjected to a deductible.
Comprehensive insurance protects your car from theft and damage sustained that is not the result of a car crash. When your vehicle is damaged by vandalism, acts of nature, or even rioting, comprehensive coverage will pay for the damage.
Emergency Roadside Service
If your car becomes disabled, emergency roadside service insurance will tow your car to a repair shop, fix flat tires, jump start your car, retrieve locked keys, and often provide other services. Your insurance company will have a complete list of services offered.
If your car is damaged for any reason covered by your insurance company, rental car insurance will pay for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. There is usually a maximum benefit per day and a limit on the number of days you can have a rental.
Umbrella insurance is essentially extra liability insurance. Umbrella policies are designed to protect policy holders from extremely large liability claims. Insurance companies typically will not offer umbrella insurance to policy holders unless they have relatively high levels of liability insurance already. Umbrella insurance only kicks in after your primary liability coverage has been exhausted and usually covers both auto and homeowners insurance claims.
Regardless of your insurance levels, it’s important to contact an attorney after you’ve been involved in a car accident. Even if our law firm is unable to help you with the particular circumstances of your crash, we will be able to point you in the right direction. Call us today at 888-517-9888 to receive a free consultation.