Do you know what your auto insurance policy covers?
The vast majority of car accident claims are settled through an insurance settlement and not through a lawsuit. Even if a case does go to trial, it will likely be against the insurance company. Either way, policy terms, and coverage limits are critical factors in the value of a claim.
Do you know what your auto insurance policy says? Do you know how much coverage you purchased and when the different types of coverage may apply?
These are important questions, but many drivers may not know all the details about their policies. Unfortunately, this could lead to uninformed decisions about your claim. Insurance companies know that drivers are often unfamiliar with the content of their policy and use it to their advantage. Your goal is to pay the least amount of compensation possible.
What comes standard on an Arizona auto insurance policy?
Our state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of coverage:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability to pay medical bills for the victim of an accident you cause
- $50,000 bodily injury liability for two or more people injured in an accident you cause
- $15,000 to cover damage to the other driver’s vehicle from an accident you caused
- $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 per accident – This pays for damages caused by an accident with an uninsured driver.
- $25,000 in underinsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 per accident – This pays for damages caused by an accident with a driver whose insurance limits were less than the full value of their damages.
Uninsured or underinsured coverages may be declined in writing; otherwise, they will automatically be included in your policy.
The purpose of required liability coverage is to ensure that victims of accidents you cause can obtain a minimum amount of compensation for their damages. Many people do not have the ability to pay thousands of dollars in medical expenses, either for themselves or for someone else.
Many drivers buy more than the minimum coverage, which means you may not be limited to just $25,000 to cover medical bills if you were injured because another driver or the other driver did not have insurance.
Although the above coverages are the minimum required by law, many people finance their vehicles. When you do that, the bank will probably ask you to buy additional coverage to protect the investment of giving you a loan.
For example, the finance company may require you to purchase collision and/or comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage pays for damage to your car from an accident. Remember, property damage liability pays for damage to the other driver’s vehicle, not yours.
Comprehensive coverage pays compensation to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged by weather, vandalism, or other factors not related to an accident. Comprehensive coverage also pays if your car is stolen.
You can always request a copy of your auto insurance policy from your insurance company. You can also ask them questions about what coverages you have and when they can apply.
How much coverage should I buy?
This is an individual decision based on what you can afford. The more coverage you have, the less likely you are to be compromised by any of the other driver’s damages that exceed your coverage limits.
Many drivers get $100,000 in liability coverage per person and $300,000 per accident. It would take a very serious accident to cause damage beyond those limits. However, you may not be able to afford your insurance premiums with such high coverage limits.
You can talk to your insurance company to find out how much they would add to your monthly premiums to increase your coverage.
Your insurance policy after an accident
You should not take the insurance company’s word for what is in your policy, particularly what your policy covers. While some claims play out relatively well, others can be more complicated. This is when it can be very important to meet with an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney. He or she may review your policy and the other driver’s policy to determine the coverage available and the limits of that coverage.
Insurance companies rely on the ignorance of accident victims to try to take advantage of them. They are looking for any way to deny your claim or pay you much less compensation than may be available.
Even if you were partially at fault for an accident, you may still be eligible for compensation. Insurance companies like to say things aren’t covered because they hope victims won’t challenge them.
Considering a car accident claim? call for assistance
Phillips Law Group has an established history of success in representing car accident victims. We have obtained millions in compensation on behalf of car accident victims for more than 28 years serving injury victims in Phoenix and the state of Arizona.
If you have any questions about your claim, feel free to call us and schedule a free consultation. This is an opportunity for us to determine if you have a valid case and discuss how we can help you.