Posted On June 8, 2016 In Personal Injury
If you have recently purchased Texas auto insurance, it is vital to know who is covered in the event of an accident. Being wrong about who is covered can mean not receiving the full amount of funds needed to recover from injuries or property damage.
Auto insurance policies vary and it is not uncommon for people to be confused on the specifics of coverage. In many cases, family members under the same roof are covered, but in others, they may lack coverage. Some people may lend their vehicles out to roommates, believing they are covered under policies. While this is possible under permissive use, auto insurance consumers would never know for certain without first closely examining their insurance policies. A person might be listed as an excluded driver on a policy.
Not only are some people covered or not covered, there are different types of coverage that come into play. In fact, finding out what types of coverage you have under your policy can be just as important as finding out who is covered. This is the part of the blog you need to pay attention to, and we will explain further why types of coverage are important.
Auto insurance policies can have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, medical payments coverage, comprehensive and collision coverage (just to name a few). Obviously, your auto insurance policy is not as simple as you may have assumed. Let’s use a hypothetical example to explore why it is important to understand the different types of coverage.
Joe is a single father with a son home from college for two weeks during the summer break. One day, Joe’s son asks to use his car to go pick up groceries. Not thinking much of it, Joe hands his son the keys. On the way to the store, Joe’s son is involved in a collision with another vehicle. The other vehicle was driven by an underinsured motorist (this becomes important later). Joe’s son suffers a broken arm and concussion. In the days that follow, Joe haggles with his insurance company to find out what is covered. To his horror, he finds out his policy lacks UIM coverage.
Why is this important? Without UIM coverage, Joe and his son might only receive the maximum amount covered by the other driver’s policy (the other driver was an underinsured motorist). Unfortunately for Joe’s son, that may not be enough to cover the medical bills and rehabilitation costs associated with his injuries. Even though Joe’s son was covered on the policy, he was unaware that he lacked a specific type of coverage. See why it is important to understand the different types of coverage, not just who is covered?
Some information on who is covered can be found on the ‘declarations page’ of your insurance policy. The declarations page might provide a summary that lists types of coverage, limits for coverage, and vehicles and people covered under your policy. Additional information may be pulled from other areas of your policy.
There are other nuances to car insurance that can create confusion and make it less likely that you receive the help you need after being involved in an accident. The personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC will review auto insurance policies at no charge. We believe it is important for people in our community to know what types of coverage they have on their policies. Here’s the thing to understand about car insurance companies: they are not your friend. Your insurance agent works for a business primarily concerned with profit, and not about seeing to it that you get what you need to survive after an accident. Paying for your injuries and medical bills costs these companies money.
It is possible you signed the dotted line without realizing that lower monthly payments mean you lack PIP and UIM coverage. You might be unaware you signed away your rights to this type of coverage. Don’t be like Joe and wait until after an accident to understand your insurance policy, because by then, it might be too late.
The personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC wish our fellow Texans a happy and safe summer.