Auto Insurance. What's covered?
Car accidents can happen when you least expect it, even to the best of us. Choosing the right coverage can help cover an accident, regardless of who is at fault. With many options to choose from, it is important to know what is available and what each option covers.
The State of Texas requires all drivers to maintain the minimum liability limits on the road to cover an accident they may be liable for. There are two parts that form Liability Coverage:
Bodily Injury Liability helps cover the costs of injury or death of the person or people involved in a covered auto accident that you may cause. This includes medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, funeral costs and, in some cases, legal fees if you are sued for damages. Considering more than just the state minimum requirements can help protect assets such as your home and savings.
Property Damage Liability helps pay to repair or replace someone else's property you may have damaged in an accident. This means damage to someone else’s car, buildings or other structures your car hits. Again, considering more than just the state minimum requirements can help protect your assets in the event of an accident. Purchasing a Personal Umbrella Policy may be a good option for you to protect your assets.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)
Uninsured motorist insurance provides coverage to you, your passengers, and your vehicle in an accident caused by a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of an accident or from a driver who does not have insurance at all. This may also pay out as a death benefit but should not be considered a life insurance policy.
Unfortunately, many drivers choose not to obtain the state required liability insurance, thus making UM/UIM a valuable coverage on your policy. If you have collision coverage, this can also help cover in the event of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, in the absence of UM/UIM coverage.
Collision provides coverage to repair or replace your car in an at-fault accident involving another vehicle or object, such as a tree or guardrail. As an insured, you are responsible for paying the deductible selected on the policy. When choosing a higher deductible, this will result in a lower premium; the lower your deductible, the higher your premium will be.
Comprehensive covers a loss caused by something other than a collision. This includes theft, fire, falling objects, hail, flood, vandalism, breakage of glass, or contact with an animal. If you lease or finance your vehicle, you may be required to obtain both collision and comprehensive coverage.
Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
This coverage pays for medical treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the insured car. A person may also be covered as a pedestrian if hit by a car while walking or riding a bicycle. PIP is a more in-depth plan that covers lost wages, legal fees, and more. Though PIP covers more services than Medical Payments, there is a limited coverage amount. Medical payments could be a better option to cover medical expenses for your immediate and short-term medical needs.
Towing & Rental Reimbursement
This includes coverage for roadside assistance such as a lock-out, flat tire, or towing. Rental Reimbursement will pay for a rental car in the event of a covered accident, while your vehicle is being repaired.
This coverage is optional and provides coverage to parts or equipment not originally installed by the manufacturer.