Buying auto insurance can be a confusing and difficult process, especially if you are unfamiliar with the industry jargon that most insurance companies use. Imagine the surprise of a car accident victim who learns there is not enough insurance to recover from their injuries, medical bills or lost wages. Don't let this happen to you. Make sure you understand your automobile insurance policy. Here are some tips and tricks you should know when buying auto insurance or updating your current policy.
What Liability Auto Coverage Do You Need?
Bodily Injury Liability (BI)
- Required by law. (Minimum limits of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident in Louisiana.
- Covers other peopole's bodily injuries or death if you're at fault.
- Provides for a legal defense if someone files a lawsuit against you.
- Covers a judgment against you only up to the policy limits in a lawsuit.
- Does NOT cover injuries to you or other people on your policy.
Propery Damage Liability (PD)
- Covers damage you cause to someone's property, like their car, fence, house or other property damaged in an accident.
- Provides you legal defense if someone files a lawsuit against you.
What Physical Damage Coverage Do You Need?
- Covers your vehicle for incidents other than crashes, like theft, flood, fire, etc.
- Pays to fix your vehicle less your deductible. To keep premiums low, select the highest deductible you feel comfortable paying.
- This is not required by a law, but if you have a loan or a lease, the lienholder will require it.
- If your car is new or in excellent condition, you may need this. If your car is older or in poor condition, ou may not want to pay for this.
- Covers damage to your car if it hits, or is hit by, a vehicle or object.
- Pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose.
- This is not required by law, but if you have a loan or a lease, the lienholder will require it.
- If your car is new or in excellent condition, you may need this. If your car is older or in poor condition, you may not want to pay for this.
Do I Need Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
- Optional, but should be seriously considered.
- Covers you, members of your household and passengers for injuries, damages, or death caused in a hit-and-run or by someone without insurance.
- Your policy will cover your medical expenses, up to the limit on your policy.
Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
- Coverys you, members of your household and passengers for injuries, damages or death caused by someone with insufficient insurance.
- If you're in an accident caused by a person with insufficient insurance, our policy will pay the difference, up to the policy limit.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage can be combined or sold separately depending on the state and the insurance carrier.
In Louisiana, there is no distinction between uninsured and underinsured. UM coverage provides insurance for both uninsured and underinsured situations. Uninsured property damage insurance covers your auto when property damage is caused by someone without insurance. Underinsured motorist property damage insurance covers your vehicle when property damage is caused by someone with insufficient insurance.
What Other Type Of Auto Insurance Coverage Is Available?
Personal Injury Protection Coverage Or Automatic Medical Paymetns Coverage
- Covers medical, hospital and sometimes funeral expenses of the insured, passengers, and pedestrians who were struck without regard to fault, up to the policy limits.
- Pays for you or family members injured in another's car or while walking.
- Total payments covered by PIP/MedPay are the limits indicated. That is the maximum amount that will be paid per person for any combination of covered expenses.
If you've been involved in a car accident and discover the other driver has no insurance, or if you are underinsured and not able to pay your medical bills based on the negligence of others, you need to speak with an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 for your free consultation.