Category: Blog

Do you know what Collision Coverage covers?

Collision coverage will cover the cost of damages to your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault, if you are involved in an accident. If the other party was at fault, then their insurance would also cover your auto repair bills, if they have insurance and accept responsibility. If you use your own insurance policy collision coverage to fix your car, the repair will usually get started quicker and go smoother, but you may be responsible to pay your deductible if the other responsible party refuses to pay the deductible or accept liability to pay the claim.

How much collision coverage do you need?

You should have enough collision coverage insurance to fully cover your damages, up to the full value of your vehicle(s).

How does the deductible for collision coverage work?

In the event of an accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company. Your car will be inspected by a bodyshop and/or mechanic along with an adjuster for your insurance company and the other party's insurance company and an estimate will be made as to how much it will cost to repair the damages. You must pay the deductible you chose when you first purchased your policy when the repairs are complete and your insurance company will pay the balance for the repairs. For example, if it will cost $1,000.00 to fix your vehicle and you have a $250.00 deductible, then your insurance company will pay the difference of $750.00. Choosing a lower deductible means you may pay more in monthly premium payments, but after an accident, you will have to pay less from your pocket to pay for the damages to your vehicle. If the other party is at fault, you can also demand that they pay for all your car repairs and recover your deductible payment. Your own insurance company will assist you in recovering your deductible, if there is a dispute.

Did You Know That….? (Medical Payments)

Did you know that having Medical Payments coverage will assist you and your passengers to pay for some of the medical treatment you may need when injured in an automobile accident?

Medical Payments coverage (also known as Med Pay) will make it possible for you to obtain reimbursement of some of the medical treatment for you and your passengers involved in an automobile accident. This would also include reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses such as medications, medical supplies, etc. There is usually a limit to the amount of medical bills that will be paid anywhere from $1,000.00, $5,000.00, or even up to and over $10,000.00 per person per accident depending upon the insurance company. Additionally, there is some medical payments coverage that is considered "excess" meaning that you will need to first submit any medical bills to your health insurance for payment. Whatever the health insurance doesn't pay then the balance can be submitted under the medical payments coverage.

Once you have filed a 3rd party claim (claim against the responsible party's insurance company), you will be required to reimburse to your insurance company from the 3rd party settlement the amount of total payment issued under the medical payments provision of your policy. Reimbursement occurs once the claim has settled. There are some medical payments coverage that do not require reimbursement. This would be the ideal coverage to obtain but it depends on the insurance company. Make sure to ask your agent for "med pay with no reimbursement".

Did You Know That…? (Liability – Property Damage)

Did you know that Property Damage Liability Coverage will only pay for the damages you cause to another person's car and possibly personal possessions that were damaged as a result of an accident that you are at fault for?

Property damage liability coverage will also pay for other property such as a tree, mailbox or any object you damaged in an accident. The amount of your property damage insurance is described on the Declaration page of your insurance policy and is usually a separate top page. You must check your coverage limit to be sure it will adequately protect you if the property damage coverage is not high enough. For example, in California the minimum property damage limit sold is usually $5,000.00. So if you cause an accident with someone driving an expensive foreign car like a Ferrari or Bentley even a small dent will cost more than $5,000.00 and you could be sued and personally responsible to pay for any amount over your coverage limit. So if you have other substantial assets to protect you should maintain at least $100,000.00 of property damage coverage to protect yourself from having to pay out of pocket for the cost of repair or replacement above your insurance coverage.

This coverage however, will not pay for any repairs to your vehicle or property that was damaged in an accident. Some insurance policies exclude coverage for payment of personal property damaged in an accident, such as cell phones, i-pods, etc.

Did You Know That….? (Underinsured Motorist)

Did you know that Underinsured Motorist (Bodily Injury) coverage on your automobile insurance policy may be available to you at no additional cost?

Underinsured Motorist (Bodily Injury) coverage is often incorporated into your Uninsured Motorist coverage. You can look on your declaration page to see if these are listed on the same line. If they are not, you should read the fine print on your policy or ask your agent about Underinsured Motorist coverage.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and it is the other person's fault, and you are injured to the point where you suffer damages for medical expense, loss of earnings and pain and suffering in a greater amount than the coverage purchased by the person at fault, your Underinsured Motorist (Bodily Injury) coverage can contribute more money to your global settlement, if your policy limits on the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist portion of your automobile policy are higher than the person at fault's policy limits.

In other words, should the person at fault have only minimal coverage of $15,000/$30,000 in California and you take out Underinsured Motorist coverage that is higher than minimal, you now have excess coverage and more protection for covering your damages than relying solely on whatever the person at fault carries through his or her automobile insurance policy.

This may become very beneficial to you if you are involved in a severe automobile accident. You can upgrade your policy limit in this category and, very importantly, there is no deductible taken out before they start payment. You just need to show your insurance company that you have received the policy limit amount from the other insurance company. There are various increments of coverage available in this category, depending upon the insurance company. And, of course, the higher the amount of coverage, the higher the premium cost will be, and the more protection you and your loved ones will have in the event of a catastrophic loss.