Don’t Make this $900,000 Mistake With Your Car Insurance Policy
Article by Benjamin Glass
Copyright (c) 2011 Benjamin Glass
The start of the year is a great time to do a check up on your car insurance policy.
Do you understand what your policy does and does not cover? Do you have enough coverage? Do you have enough of the “unobvious” coverage?
Most people understand the concept of buying car insurance to protect their own assets if they carelessly hurt someone else or to get their own car repaired if it is damaged.
But what happens if you are hit and injured by someone who has no insurance at all? Think it can’t happen? Think again.
First, there are some people who simply have let their insurance lapse. In this time of severe economic hardship the car insurance bill is sometimes the bill that doesn’t get paid. Car insurance companies are quick to cancel when you don’t pay.
Second, Virginia is one of those few states where it is perfectly legal to drive without car insurance. When you register a car in Virginia you have a choice. You can either buy car insurance or pay a 0 fee to the uninsured motorist fund. When someone pays the 0 fee they are legally allowed to drive without insurance.
With today’s out of control medical costs, even a moderate injury from a car accident can set you back tens of thousands of dollars.
The way that you protect yourself is by buying “uninsured” and “underinsured” motorist insurance coverage. Buy lots of it. It is cheap.
Recently a young lady was severely injured in a car accident. She had been smart enough to buy 0,000 of uninsured motorist coverage but it was not enough to cover her injuries. What she later discovered is that for an additional premium of per year, she could have had ,000,000 of coverage. Had she known at the time how cheap this additional insurance was she would have been able to be properly compensated for her injuries.
This type of coverage will protect you if the person who causes the accident either has no car insurance or has less insurance than you do. (Thus the use of the term “underinsurance.”) In either situation your own insurance company will step in to provide you with additional coverage to pay for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and any pain and suffering damages you are entitled to. It will also provide coverage for future medical bills.
Two warnings: most insurance agents don’t understand the importance of buying lots of uninsured motorist coverage and thus, don’t explain this concept well. Second, your agent may attempt to sell you an ‘umbrella’ policy when you discuss this with them. An umbrella policy is good to have but most umbrella policies do not provide uninsured motorist coverage, so even if you have lots of umbrella coverage you still may not be adequately insured if you are hit by someone who is driving without car insurance.
Ben Glass is a personal injury attorney in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a frequent speaker on personal injury topics. You can see a short video that explains the concepts in this article at www.AgentMalpractice.com