Not all auto insurance policies cover you from personal injury claims. Automobile insurance pays for damages, injuries, and other losses specifically covered by your policy. Many insurance companies use the Texas Personal Automobile Policy, a standardized policy form that offers the following eight types of coverage’s:
- LIABILITY INSURANCE pays the expenses of people in the other car involved in an accident caused by drivers on your policy, up to your policy’s dollar limits. Expenses can include medical bills, car repair, and car rental. It covers accidents that are caused by you or anyone covered by your policy, including a driver operating your car with your permission. Texas law requires minimum coverage of $30,000 for each injured person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
- COLLISION COVERAGE pays for damage to your car regardless of who caused the accident. The company will pay up to the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible.
- COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE (PHYSICAL DAMAGE OTHER THAN COLLISION) pays for damage to or loss of your car from causes other than collisions, such as hail, vandalism, flood, fire, and theft.
- PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) pays reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses if you, a family member, or a passenger in your car is injured or killed in a car accident, plus 80 percent of lost income and the cost of hiring a caregiver for an injured person. This coverage does not have to be paid back to the insurance company.
- MEDICAL PAYMENTS pay reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses if you, a family member, or a passenger in your car is injured or killed in a car accident. However, in some case the insurance company can require repayment of this benefit.
- UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST (UM/UIM) coverage pays for your injuries and property damage caused by a hit-and-run driver or a motorist without liability insurance. UM/UIM also pays when your medical and car repair bills are higher than the other driver’s liability coverage.
- TOWING & LABOR COVERAGE reimburses you for towing charges when your car must be towed to a repair shop or other destination.
- RENTAL REIMBURSEMENT COVERAGE pays a set daily amount for a rental car if your car is being repaired because of damage covered by your auto policy.
Gap Insurance that pays the difference between the actual cash value of a vehicle and the amount still to be paid on the loan. Some gap policies may also cover the amount of the deductible. This coverage can be added when purchasing your vehicle.
Hopefully knowing the different types of coverage available to you and what the coverage’s mean, will make it easier to choose the best policy for you and your family.
Steve Kuzmich is a Board Certified – Personal Injury Trial Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Kuzmich Law Firms’ focus practice areas are auto and trucking accidents, wrongful death and other serious injuries, injuries caused by drunk drivers, child injury cases, (slip and fall accidents) premises liability, and dog bite cases.
For further information about personal injury litigation, call as at 972.434.1555 and ask us why board certification matters.