Licensed drivers know that they need to carry insurance on every vehicle they own. While the specific requirements vary from state to state, it is common knowledge that at least liability coverage should be purchased for any vehicle that is on the road. There is a lot about insurance that people do not understand, and sometimes a decision made to save a few bucks on a policy can mean the difference between compensation or lifelong debt after an accident.
One question that lawyer Harrell Gunn, founder of Gunn Law Group, LLC often sees in his practice is: “How can I prevent myself from getting shortchanged in an unfortunate event like a car accident?” This issue comes up because insurance is complicated, and after a traumatizing event like a car accident it can feel like adding insult to injury when someone finds out their compensation options are inadequate due to insurance policy limits.
Gunn wants people to know that there are decisions they make about insurance coverages at the time of purchase that can be a major limitation when it is time to get compensation after an accident. He has seen clients who end up with crippling debt, even liens on their homes after being injured in an accident and not getting enough compensation to pay their medical bills. Gunn wants to help people choose better coverage from the start, and knows three main ways people can protect themselves with better insurance coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – The law allows for drivers to turn down uninsured motorist coverage, meaning that many people do not have it because it costs more than liability coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage will protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance. If you do not have this coverage and this type of accident occurs the money to cover damages and medical bills will come out of your own pocket.
Underinsured motorist coverage is an option that can be added to your policy that protects you if another driver hits you and has liability limits that do not cover the medical or property damage costs fully. Both options cost a little bit more in a policy, however, can truly be a safety net when an accident occurs.
Medical payments coverage – Medical payments coverage is an optional part of an insurance policy that will help pay for any medical costs from an accident regardless of who caused the accident. This coverage covers the policyholder and can extend to cover people who are passengers in a car, can cover funeral costs, and post-accident care, as well as injuries when someone hurt in an accident is a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Picking the best type of insurance and having enough insurance – Minimum coverage is not the best coverage, and while it seems tempting to save money with the cheapest option, that is usually not the best option to have when an accident happens. Really understanding what the limits and options of your policy are before you buy it and asking about options like uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payments, these choices can make all the difference should the worst-case scenario occur.
Gunn points out that these options protect clients and give lawyers more to work with when negotiating compensation after an accident. His goal is to get clients the most compensation possible and to ensure no one gets short changed after an accident. Learn more about Gunn and how he can help after a car accident or personal injury on his website.