Know the Terminology When You Purchase Auto Insurance

Purchasing auto insurance ranks somewhere below “washing your socks” in terms of the activities people look forward to. However, the fact remains that it is an extremely important and highly complex decision that often does not receive nearly the attention it deserves. While it is common to go years without ever having to file an auto insurance claim, when you are involved in an accident, the options and terms you chose can have a significant impact on your life.

To that end, it is important to fully understand the different types of coverage that make up a Pennsylvania auto insurance policy, what they provide and how they can impact you if you are involved in an accident:

  • Liability coverage – This type of coverage protects you if you are sued by a driver, pedestrian, property owner or anyone else who suffers personal injury or property loss due to your operation of your vehicle. In Pennsylvania, all drivers must carry $15,000 per injured person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage as well as $5,000 in property damage coverage. However, if you own a home or have significant financial assets, it is wise to carry more as you may be personally liable if the damages exceed your insurance coverage.
  • First party benefits – First party benefits are the benefits that protect you, whether or not you were at fault in the accident. Pennsylvania only requires drivers to carry $5,000 in coverage for medical bills, however other first party benefits are optional. These include payments for wage loss, accidental death and funeral expenses, extraordinary medical expenses and physical damage to your vehicle.
  • UM/UIM benefits – Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if a frequently misunderstood type of coverage that protects you, your family and your passengers if they are injured in an accident by an uninsured driver or when the driver’s liability insurance cannot cover their injuries. Under this type of policy, your own insurance company steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver and pays the damages for which he or she is liable but cannot pay.

While insurance companies universally tout how they are there for you when you need them, unfortunately they often do everything they can to minimize their payouts, even for your first party benefits. An experienced Montgomery County auto accident lawyer can not only help you achieve a fair settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer but can also ensure you are treated fairly by your own insurance company and get everything you paid for out of your policy.

Contact Mayerson Injury Law, P.C. for the personalized representation you need!

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