Insurance Policy Information You Can’t Afford to Be Without
Nobody is excited to talk about car insurance. However, having a thorough understanding of what sort of auto insurance coverage you need—what you currently have—can help ensure that you get the best protection following a car accident.
The minimum auto insurance requirements in Texas are $30,000 per individual and $60,000 per accident. Furthermore, motorists must have a minimum of $25,000 worth of coverage for property damage in addition to injury coverage. Bear in mind that this is the absolute state minimum that is required, not necessarily the recommended minimum to protect your finances.
More Coverage Means More Protection
Depending on the severity of your injuries, basic coverage may not be enough to pay for all of the expenses that accumulate from an accident that wasn’t even your fault. The other driver’s coverage may not be enough to cover your medical costs and expenses, forcing you to have to come up with the difference with your coverage.
On the other hand, if you have caused the accident, your minimal coverage may not be enough to pay for the damages sustained by the other vehicle or its driver. To protect yourself, it is best to obtain as much coverage as you can afford by having the following included in your policy:
- Bodily injury and liability insurance. This coverage protects you from claims made against you if you cause bodily injury to someone in a crash; it also covers your defense costs.
- Collision insurance. This pays for the damage to your vehicle when the accident is your fault.
- Comprehensive coverage insurance. This insurance pays for the damage to your car for anything other than a wreck—for examples, tornados, floods, vandalism, theft, hitting a deer, etc.
- Car rental insurance. If your vehicle is in the shop for more than a day as a result of an accident, this insurance offsets part of the cost of renting a car to carry about your daily business. Benefits are typically around $15 a day.
- Medical coverage. This coverage pays for medical expenses from your and your passenger’s crash injuries, no matter who was at fault.
- Liability coverage. This insurance pays for any damages you cause to someone else’s property.
- Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. This one is very important; it pays for your expenses when the driver who was responsible for the accident has insufficient insurance coverage.
Exceeding Minimum Insurance Requirements Without Exceeding Your Budget
The most important thing to remember is that insurance companies very rarely try to save you money. In fact, insurance companies want you completely bamboozled when it comes time to file a claim so that they can take advantage and save their own money. They bank on your not knowing, not understanding, or not having the patience to read the fine print or to demand certain benefits.
By claiming that you aren’t covered on something when you actually are, that some damage falls under your deductible when in fact it doesn’t, and that something isn’t their problem when it actually is, insurance companies make millions of extra dollars at your expense. However, although they may not tell you, there are many ways for you to get your premiums down to more reasonable rates without sacrificing your coverage. In other words, by taking advantage of certain safety incentives, you can get more coverage for less money, as opposed to paying less money for less coverage. Some of these discount incentives involve:
- Having a car with airbags and automatic seat belts.
- Having a vehicle with an anti-theft device or alarm built in.
- Having anti-lock brakes on your car.
- Driving a safe car. That’s right, some cars are considered inherently safer than others—RAV4 vs. a convertible comes to mind—and may qualify for an insurance discount.
- Retaking driving courses periodically to prove that you’re a safe driver.
- Being a safe driver (going three years without a violation).
- Bundling policies (purchasing coverage for car, home, personal insurance, etc., all under one policy).
When evaluating your policy, speak with an adjuster about potential discounts to increase your coverage.
Putting Your Coverage to the Test
Insurance companies have turned getting out of their financial responsibilities into an art form. Accepting an accident settlement from an insurer—without an attorney to look out for your interests—is almost a guarantee that you won’t get what you should. However, an injury victim armed with the facts and experienced legal counsel can make very short work of insurance companies’ attempts at avoiding their financial responsibilities.
Attorney Steve Lee has been representing injury victims for over three decades, and he has a very clear picture of how shady insurers can operate. In fact, much of his practice is dedicated to helping victims overcome reprehensible insurance tactics. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact our office today for a free legal consultation and see what we can do for you.