Trying to get insurance cover can be a real minefield to most people. It is almost always an unbelievably expensive item with respect to the family budget. Unfortunately however, it can be horrendously costly in another way if the cover is not appropriate or does not cover the intended items. Let’s look at the main kinds of cover & attempt to throw a little light on the subject.
The best automobile insurance policies will include the following items: uninsured motorist coverage, personal property liability, collision coverage, bodily injury liability, comprehensive coverage & personal injury protection (PIP). Some of these elements are required by all states whilst others are not required. Collision coverage pays for all damages to a automobile or other vehicle when it is in collision with another automobile or other vehicle or non-vehicular object, even if the insurance holder is at fault. Comprehensive insurance policies protect the insurance holder in the unfortunate situation that their automobile or other vehicle is taken without the owner’s permission, damaged illegally, harmed by an act of nature or damaged otherwise. Both of these kinds of insurance are always optional & are usually very costly.
Bodily injury & personal property insurance are required by all U.S. states in in one way or another. Where the states differ greatly is in the minimum guaranteed payout that is set for each. By example, in Alaska, a driver is required to carry coverage that has a guaranteed minimum bodily injury payout of $100,000. In Florida, a driver is only required to carry coverage worth $10,000.
Many elements of an auto insurance policy that could be optional are cover for the uninsured motorist & personal injury protection. The coverage for the uninsured motorist protects the insurance holder in case he or she has an accident with an uninsured person. It gives the insurance policies that should possibly have been supplied by the other party. PIP, in the event of an accident, pays for the medical expenses & other assorted damages incurred by the insurance holder & their passengers (or if the insurance holder is an injured pedestrian). Carrying personal injury protection is mandatory in: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon & Utah.
Even if personal injury protection is not mandatory in your state, you may still want to consider purchasing the insurance policies. PIP, in the event of an accident, will pay around 80% (depending on insurance policies limits) of the costs of the insurance holder & passengers. There is more. These costs include medical bills, lost wages & other assorted expenses. personal injury protection is a no-fault policy, so it will cover you & your passengers, even if the reason for claim was your fault.
personal injury protection, occasionally known as Medical Payment Insurance or Medpay, is a no-fault insurance policies for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the fact that blame does not have to be confirmed saves time & therefore allows medical payments to get into the pockets of the injured parties as soon as possible.
Secondly, it saves everybody from the cost of lawsuits being filed so that responsibility can be proved for an accident & therefore who has responsibility for the bills. One time a personal injury protection policy might allow for a lawsuit is when serious injury or death occurs.
Before you purchase personal injury protection, you would be advised to take a look at your current policies & see whether or not the insurance policies offered by personal injury protection is duplicated elsewhere. It could be that the cost of lost wages & medical bills may be recovered through an existing health insurance policy. If this is the case, then you may need minimal personal injury protection or none at all. Your driving habits will also help determine whether or not you need personal injury protection. Do you carry passengers on a regular basis? While your health insurance might cover your own medical expenses, it will not cover those of your passengers (unless they are members of your family who are on your health plan). Ask your regular passengers about their own health insurance policies & its coverage. If they are inadequately covered or not covered at all, you need personal injury protection in order to keep them covered. This may seem like the thin end of the wedge, especially if you are the one driving an office car pool, however, the safety of any passenger riding in your car is always going to be your responsibility.
If you reside in a state that requires personal injury protection you will need to know the minimum amount of cover you must have because this has already been decided for you… If you live in a state where personal injury protection is not mandatory however, you might decide that you need the extra insurance policies anyway. How much insurance policies you need depends, mainly, on your age. If you are middle-aged or older, have good health & liability insurance policies, then you will need minimal personal injury protection insurance policies. If, on the other hand, you are young, just starting out & still do not have much in the way of health & liability insurance, you will want to protect yourself, your family & your future by carrying as much insurance as you can afford. This is especially true if you have a young family or if you constantly carry others in your automobile or other vehicle.
So there we have it, whether you require PIP & at what level, depends on many factors: where you live, your driving habits, your employment, your health, your personal circumstances & your level of existing cover. Whatever your circumstances however, you really need to research it carefully so that you can rest easy knowing that you are safely covered.
Keith Understrom works in the insurance industry & runs a free insurance information website as an information resource.