DON’T GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS TO RECOVER MONEY DAMAGES IF YOU ARE INJURED IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT
Your car insurance policy is a detailed and confusing document filled with legal jargon explaining the coverage you have on your vehicle and the specific actions your insurance company will take under specific circumstances for a designated price. While your insurance policy may feel difficult to understand, skimming through the document should never be an option. As a citizen, it is your right to understand the kind of coverage your insurance company is providing you with in the event of a car accident.
Make it a priority to look over your automobile insurance policy, focusing on the page where your coverage amounts are listed. This is your insurance Declaration Page, which includes details about the levels of coverage you can receive, deductions (if applicable), the drivers who are covered under your plan, and the price of each kind of coverage that you have. It should also include a schedule of coverage, or the coverage, limits, deductibles, and premiums for each vehicle covered under your policy, the period your policy is in effect, and any discounts or surcharges that apply to your account.
When looking over your Declaration Page, these very important coverage options should be included in your policy:
- FULL TORT: This allows you to recover money in a lawsuit for pain and suffering if you are injured, regardless of the severity of your injury. Do not choose LIMITED TORT. If you select LIMITED TORT, you are giving up your right to receive money for pain and suffering for yourself and every relative in your household unless your injury is considered a serious impairment. Your insurance premium is lower every month, but you are limiting what you can recover in the event of an accident. With FULL TORT, there is no barrier if you or a family member is injured and you want to recover money for your pain and suffering. The after-effects of a car accident may not surface immediately, and all too often PA drivers realize they need Full Tort coverage after it’s too late. The minor difference in your premium each month is minute compared to the effects of a life-changing car accident.
- UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE: Philadelphia is one of the leading cities for uninsured drivers, making this type of coverage especially important for Philadelphia residents. This coverage allows you to recover money from your own insurance company if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and the person that causes the accident does not have automobile insurance. There are 4 types of uninsured motorist coverage:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury – covers your injuries when you are involved in an accident with at uninsured driver who is at-fault.
- Uninsured motorist property damage – covers damage to your vehicle when you are involved in an accident with at uninsured driver who is at-fault.
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury – covers your injuries when you are involved in an accident with at uninsured driver who is at-fault, but only when the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover everything.
- Underinsured motorist property damage – covers damage to your vehicle when you are involved in an accident with at uninsured driver who is at-fault, but only when the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover everything.
- UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE: This coverage allows you to recover additional money from your own insurance company if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and the person that causes the accident has a limited amount of insurance coverage. Essentially, uninsured coverage protects you from drivers who don’t have insurance, and underinsured coverage protects you from at-fault drivers who have extremely low liability limits that won’t cover damages.
- STACKING: If you have more than one vehicle in your household, this coverage allows you to multiply the amount of coverage you purchased by the number of vehicles you own.
The Declaration Page shouldn’t be the only page of your policy that you read! Review your entire policy packet to understand the insurance coverage that you have. If you are in the process of deciding what kind of automobile insurance coverage you need, the law firm of SEGAL, BERK GAINES & LISS is available for free consult to answer any questions that you may have. Call now!