GOT “FULL” COVERAGE?

Does this picture look familiar? It should – it is a copy of a car insurance coverage selections page, and a good one to boot. We have highlighted three important Parts, which are often overlooked and, in our experience, not understood: Parts 3, 12, and 6. Find your personal car selections page and compare it with this example. If yours doesn’t look like the example, call your agent immediately to find out what it will cost to increase your current coverage to what we consider to be a good example of “full” coverage.

We advise that our clients carry $250,000/$500,000, or, at least $100,000/$300,000 under Parts 3 and 12. Depending on your current coverage under Part 5 (Optional Bodily Injury to Others), increasing Parts 3 and 12 often costs about the same as buying lunch or dinner. Ask your agent about the cost of increasing those Parts, as seen in the example.

Over the years, we have been very successful making claims under these Parts. Fortunately, some of our clients had protected themselves by increasing these Parts before they suffered harms in a motor vehicle incident. On the other hand, unfortunately, many of our clients did not have enough coverage or no coverage under one or more these Parts.

Here’s a quick summary of how some of the overlooked Parts of your car insurance protect you. For more information about how these and other Parts protect you, feel free to email or call me with any questions.

Part 3 – Injury caused by an UNINSURED auto:

This Part is important when you are injured as a result of someone using or operating a car that does not have insurance. For example, a car with cancelled insurance or a stolen car are both considered to be an “Uninsured Auto”. If so, your car insurance will pay for your harms up to the amount of protection you purchase under Part 3.

Part 12 – Injury caused by an UNDERINSURED auto:

Many people are surprised to find they have little or no coverage under Part 12. When the driver that injures you does not have enough insurance to pay for all of your harms, they are considered underinsured. The amount of available coverage under Part 12 for such a loss is determined by subtracting the amount of coverage which the defendant driver has from the amount of Part 12 underinsured coverage which you have purchased. For example, if the defendant driver has the minimum $20,000 per person insurance coverage and you have purchased $100,000 per person underinsured, Part 12 coverage, there will be up to $80,000 available to compensate you for your harms and losses. Together with the $20,000 per person coverage which the defendant driver has in this example, you would have up to $100,000 available from a combination of the defendant’s insurance policy plus your own insurance policy.

You are not allowed to insure your car for more Part 3 Uninsured coverage and Part 12 Underinsured coverage than your car is insured for Part 5 Optional Bodily Injury to Others coverage. So, you will be required to also increase Part 5 Optional Bodily Injury to Others coverage to the same amount of your increased Parts 3 and 12 coverages.

Part 6 – Optional Medical Payments:

We also recommend our clients purchase as much Part 6 Optional Medical Payments coverage as they can afford. Part 6 often covers medical bills for treatment of your injuries which result from a motor vehicle incident, in a variety of situations. In some situations we collect thousands of dollars under this coverage, even if your medical bills have already been paid by other insurance or an employer.

I have highlighted just some of the most important overlooked Parts of car insurance coverages and the recommendations we make to our clients to best protect themselves. For more information about how these and other Parts protect you, feel free to email or call me with any questions. There are many nuances related to these coverages, far more than I can write about here. You need to start learning about these important coverages. The first step is by checking your own insurance policy to see what you have and compare it to the example we have provided.

By Attorney Jared Ballin

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