A lot of drivers out there have a false sense of security when it comes to their insurance coverage. At our office, we have heard drivers state confidently “I’ve got full coverage” time and time again, only to later learn that their insurance coverage is woefully inadequate to cover their damages.
A full coverage car insurance policy typically only covers comprehensive and collision insurance, plus liability coverage. Unlike the plain meaning of the term, it does not cover everything. First of all, different insurance companies have different definitions for full coverage. More often than not, full coverage has nothing to do with the amount of coverage you have, but rather, the things you are covered for. The most common deficiencies we see in our practice are Underinsured coverage, Uninsured Coverage and Medical Payments (Medpay) coverage.
Uninsured Coverage is exactly what is sounds like. In Missouri, it is against the law to drive without insurance. The reality is that a LOT of people are driving around with no insurance. If you are not covered by Uninsured motorist coverage, you may be left holding the bill for the damages you incur because of someone else’s negligence. If you only have $25,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage, that may not be enough to cover the damages you suffer. It is a good idea to ask your insurance agent about the maximum amount of coverage you can get to protect yourself against the many uninsured drivers out on the road.
Underinsured Coverage provides additional coverage to you if the at fault driver’s coverage is inadequate to cover your damages. Without sufficient Underinsured motorist coverage, you may be paying out of pocket for the difference. Our office sees a lot of clients who may Uninsured coverage, but do not have Underinsured Coverage. Again, you should ask your insurance agent about maximizing this type of coverage as well. You may be surprised at how affordable it is.
Medical Payment coverage can be one of the most important coverages a person can have on their policy. Medical Payment Coverage, or Medpay, provides immediate coverage to you and your passengers if anyone in your vehicle is injured in an accident, regardless of liability. There is a common misconception out there that an at-fault driver’s insurance will pay your bills as you incur them. This is false. They won’t pay a dime until you are ready to sign your rights away, even if there is no question of liability. The insurance company has no interest in helping you get the medical treatment you need, because that only makes your claim against their insured stronger. Again, it is a good idea to discuss maximizing your Medpay coverage. It is not uncommon for one Emergency Room visit to cost upwards of $10,000.00.
Take some time and educate yourself about what it really means to have full coverage. You may find that your own coverage is inadequate to protect you and your loved ones. We have yet to have a client tell us that they wish they had purchased less coverage. Discuss with your agent, and find out what is right for you.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or fault, please call the attorneys at Price & Randle, LLC for a free consultation.