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Understanding Your Auto Coverage

So how much car insurance do you really need to protect you, your passengers and your car? Three of the most important types of auto insurance you can have are liability, comprehensive and collision coverage. These are coverages you can’t afford to do without.

Liability Coverage

Though liability coverage doesn’t protect you or your car, it does protect your wallet! If you’re in an accident that’s your fault, liability insurance covers the other person’s costs you’d typically be responsible for like medical expenses or auto-repair costs that other party sustained due to the accident.

Without liability coverage, you would be responsible for paying the other driver’s property damage and bodily injury costs out of your pocket. That could put you at serious risk financially. No matter what kind of car you drive, liability auto insurance is a definite must have. The State of Oklahoma requires a minimum coverage amount of $25,000.00/$50,000/$25,000.

Understanding your coverage

When looking at your auto insurance coverage limits, you may see something like:

$250,000/$500,000/$250,000 or 250/500/250 for your liability coverage.

Which means your insurance will pay for damages as follows:

$250,000 of coverage for bodily injury (per person)

$500,000 of coverage for bodily injury (per accident)

$250,000 of coverage for property damage (per accident)

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage, covers damage to your vehicle due to the weather, like a hail storm, theft or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage will pay to replace or repair your car as long as the damage isn’t due to a collision. Like liability insurance, comprehensive coverage is fairly inexpensive, therefore you’ll want to have it whether you’re driving a beater or a brand-new car.

Collision Coverage

Unfortunately, accidents happen. The good news is, no matter who is at fault, collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car if you’re in an accident with another vehicle, object, or even yourself. It is important to purchase collision coverage. For example: let’s say your car is totaled in a wreck which is your fault. The other driver’s liability coverage won’t pay for your car repairs because they’re not at fault. Without collision coverage, you’d have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace your own vehicle.

Extended Coverage

You’ll find plenty of options for extended auto insurance coverage.

1. Medical Expenses Coverage (MedPay) Whether you’re covered by health insurance or not, Medical Expenses Coverage (MedPay) covers reasonable medical expenses for you, your passengers or any family members associated with an auto accident regardless of who is at fault.

2. Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)

With the cost of new cars continuing to climb, the average length of a car loan has expanded to six years or more, making GAP insurance more popular than ever. Let’s say you financed a brand-new SUV. If you got into an accident as you pulled out of the dealership’s lot, collision and comprehensive insurance would only cover the actual market value of the SUV. That means you’d be responsible for a percentage of the SUV’s value that you lost the second you drove it off the car lot. GAP insurance would fill in the "gap" by covering not only the newly reduced market value of your SUV, but also the remainder of what you still owe on it.

Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist

Most people do not carry or understand how important Um/UIM is. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) covers medical expenses (for you and your passengers) that result from a hit-and-run driver or a driver who’s uninsured/underinsured. It does not cover damage to your vehicle.

What if you’re hit by a driver who has insurance, just not enough? Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM) covers you when you’re in an accident caused by a driver whose insurance coverage falls below the state’s required minimums. For example, you are in accident that is not your fault and you have one of your children in the car with you. The at fault driver only has the state required limits of $25,000.00. Your medical bills are in excess of $25,000.00 and your child’s medical cannot be determined yet because they have to have surgery. The at fault driver’s insurance would only pay a total of $50,000.00 ($25,000.00 per person) for the medical expenses incurred as a result this accident. Leaving you with the financial burden to pay the remaining medical expenses. If you have UM/UIM coverage, this coverage would pay for the remaining and/or future expenses up to your coverage limits. This is why UM/UIM is so important.

The legal team at Keith & Associates Legal, PLLC is ready to assist you. Give us a call to schedule a consultation 918-574-8500.

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