Why Do You Need Uninsured, Underinsured, And Medical Coverage On Your Policy? - Elliott & Smith Law Firm

Elliott & Smith Law Firm

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Dec 03

Why Do You Need Uninsured, Underinsured, And Medical Coverage On Your Policy?

 

Many Northwest Arkansas drivers really have no idea what type of insurance coverage they have on their vehicles.

Often, people simply rely on their insurance agent, and get what the law requires them to have to legally drive. In Arkansas that is a liability only policy of insurance with limits of $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 per accident. In addition, if there is a lien on their vehicle they will have comprehensive and collision coverage. Nothing else.

This is a problem because people have no insurance coverage available that protects them and their family. Recently, a wreck happened in Bentonville, Arkansas; which was a clear liability meaning that our client was not at fault; and the other parties’ actions were the cause of the wreck. As it turned out; our client sustained very significant injuries, and will end up with medical bills more than $100,000.00; as well as significant loss income.

In cases like this; one must hope that the person who caused the injuries had significant limits of liability insurance available; that will cover the client’s damages. Unfortunately for this client; not only did the other driver not have enough insurance coverage; but their auto policy was not valid at the time of the wreck; meaning there was no money available to cover my client’s damages. This is a much more common problem in Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers and all Northwest Arkansas. Car wrecks happen every day; and there are simply too many drivers that are driving on the roads without any automobile insurance.

So how can you protect yourself? What is uninsured motorist coverage,  underinsured motorist coverage; and medical payments coverage?

Knowing the answers to these questions can give you satisfaction knowing that you and your family can be protected.

UNINSURED MOTORIST

This is a type of insurance coverage available with all insurance companies which covers you and your family; when the driver who caused your damages does not have any insurance. When you are hit by a driver with no insurance; if you have uninsured motorist coverage available; then your insurance company will step in; and handle the claim and will cover your damages up to your limits of liability. In the case spoke about above; the client was fortunate enough to have uninsured motorist coverage on her policy, but she only carried limits of $25,000.00.

So even with medical bills totaling more than $100,000.00, and a loss of income; the only insurance benefits available for her to recover were the limits of; $25,000.00 available under her personal automobile insurance policy uninsured limits. A situation like this is a nightmare for the client; as we must try to figure out how to make a minimal amount of money stretch far enough to cover the damages. In many cases that is an impossible task.

So to protect yourself and your family from Arkansas drivers who drive around with no liability insurance, talk to your agent about getting the most uninsured motorist coverage that you can afford on your automobile policy.

UNDERINSURED MOTORIST

This is another type of insurance coverage available with all insurance companies who write automobile insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) kicks in when you sustain damages in a car wreck and the driver that caused the wreck has liability insurance, but their limits are not enough to adequately cover your damages.

In the case described above, if we change the facts to where the negligent driver did have liability insurance, but only carried the required Arkansas state minimum of $25,000.00, then those limits would not come close to covering the damages that the client has sustained. In this case, if the client had underinsured motorist coverage available under her policy, she could then make a claim against her company for her damages up to the limits available under the policy.

Just as with the uninsured motorist coverage; the underinsured motorist coverage is a great way to make certain that you and your family are protected, if you are involved in a serious car wreck.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE

 This type of coverage is often referred to as no-fault medical coverage, or personal injury protection coverage; and is available with all automobile insurance policies. Most policies seen carry limits of $5,000.00 per person. This coverage is referred to as no-fault medical pay; because it will pay your medical bills; when you are involved in a wreck regardless of whether it is your fault or someone else’s fault. Many people think that if they have health insurance they don’t need this. We beg to differ. With most health insurance policies, there are deductibles and out of pocket expenses.

When you are in a wreck, you can use the medical payments coverage to help you with your out of pocket expenses, to meet your deductibles, and for any other medical related expenses you might incur. In the case that we have discussed above, fortunately our client does have health insurance, and has medical payments coverage of $5,000.00. We are doing what we can to make sure her health insurance pays all the medical bills; that they are required to pay under the contract; and are using the medical payments coverage to pick up everything else. There will probably not be enough money available, but it will certainly help.

Instead of simply paying for auto insurance that will only cover you when you cause a wreck, do whatever it takes to make sure that you and your family are protected. Talk to your insurance agent about adding uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage to your automobile policy. Contact us at 479-JUSTICE (587-8423), to schedule a free consultation today.