You drive to survive. You’re always cautious and alert when on the road. Your reserve and diligence pay off by keeping you and your family safe. However, there are no guarantees. You never know when you will encounter a reckless and inattentive driver. That is why you must have a sound insurance policy.
The Importance of Insurance
Automobile insurance is mandatory in every state for anyone who owns a vehicle. If you are like most people, you view the purchase of insurance is just one of many things that you must do to drive a car. But it is much more than that. If you’re ever in a serious car wreck, your insurance may be your only means of financial support. Such an accident may require you to undergo a range of invasive medical procedures. You will be forced to stop working for a certain period of time, and you will need months to recover and recuperate from your accident.
Insurance is the ultimate contingency plan. It provides the money and resources you need in the event of an unexpected catastrophe. However, not all insurance plans are the same. You must choose an insurance policy that is best suited to your life circumstances.
Finding the Right Coverage
Before choosing or designing an auto insurance plan, you should know the different types of coverage that are available. You should know exactly what your plan covers and how your premium will be affected if you are ever in an accident. You should also understand the process of making a claim and ensuring its success if you have been in an accident.
Perhaps the most fundamental question for an insurance policy is what kind of coverage is mandated by state law. Most states require you to have an insurance policy that offers a minimum amount of coverage for each injured person and the total amount of property damage caused.
If you opt for such minimums, you may find yourself liable for the balance of the money owed far exceeds the amount covered by your policy. To cover all your bases, you may want to consider comprehensive coverage. The latter covers things like damage, injury, car theft, vandalism, and other acts that are beyond your control. Not all comprehensive insurance coverage plans are the same. You want to be sure about yours before you sign the dotted line. For this reason, you should have hard questions for insurance policy companies that offer this option.
Other questions to ask your insurance company include:
1. Do I have medical payments coverage?
If you are severely injured in an accident, you may need to undergo advanced procedures to save your life and put you on the road to health. These operations can be expensive, and you will not have the option of saying no to them. That is why you must ensure that MedPay is part of your insurance coverage. This is a type of no-fault coverage that will kick in regardless of who was responsible for the accident.
2. What are the parameters of my policy?
It is vital that you understand what is and what is not included in your coverage. If you have taken out automobile insurance, it may not apply to accidents that occur while you are on a motorcycle or ATV. If you have taken out insurance for every driver in your family, you should make sure that it covers your younger children—those that are under the age of 18.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Most drivers do the right thing: they take out the insurance coverage that is mandated by law. However, some people drive around on the streets and highways without insurance coverage. These are some of the most reckless and selfish people you will ever encounter. And if you are ever involved in an accident with one of them, it can cause you a great many problems.
Among the most important questions to ask your insurance company are:
1. Do I have uninsured motorist coverage?
If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, they will not be able to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. You may be able to sue them, but you are unlikely to profit by it. You cannot get money from a person who does not have it. Uninsured motorist coverage will ensure that you get the money you need. It will cover all injuries and damages that result from the crash.
2. Do I have underinsured motorist coverage?
The person who hit you may have insurance, but their coverage may not be high enough to cover your personal injury claims and property damage. If you were involved in a bad accident caused by the other driver, their insurance may not be able to cover your bills if they have minimum coverage. UIM coverage will ensure that you receive the medical treatment you need and that all your other expenses and losses are covered.
Dealing with Your Insurance Company After an Accident
If you have been in an accident, your first order of business is to recover your health and strength. You may need to spend some time in the hospital before you are ready to deal with the financial fallout of the accident.
Your insurance company may seem eager to help you process your claim. Do not be fooled by the charming and easy-going manner of an insurance adjuster. You must remember that the priority of the insurance company is its own interests. It will try to minimize the amount of money it pays out to you, and the representative you deal with will have that goal in mind.
Even if you are dealing with an honest and straightforward insurance company, you must watch what you say and be as exact and precise as you can on the claim you submit. Any misstatement or error on your part can render your claim invalid. Even the smallest mistake can significantly reduce the amount of money you receive.
To get the best outcome, you should follow these tips:
1. Keep to the facts
You should never speculate, offer an opinion, or make an evaluation of the accident or the damage and injuries caused by it. You should leave such matters to professionals. You should refer to documents and statements made by your physician on anything having to do with your injuries. And you should point to the police report if you are asked about the circumstances that led to the accident.
2. Never admit fault
You can only know what you saw and what you did before the accident. You will have no knowledge of the other driver’s actions until the conclusion of an independent investigation. For this reason, you should not admit fault for the accident. Let the results of the official report speak for themselves.
3. Know that you are being recorded
Every conversation you have with an insurance company representative is being recorded. You must, therefore, watch what you say. Any statement, claim, or opinion you utter may be used to reduce the value of your claim.
4. Hire a lawyer if things get difficult
If you are having a hard time getting the money that you are entitled to, it may be wise to hire a lawyer. The matter is especially urgent if you are owed a large settlement amount. Once you have retained legal counsel, you should turn overall communication and negotiation to them. This is the best way to avoid saying or doing the wrong thing and further prolonging the settlement.