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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Buying Car Insurance

Insurance is required to operate a motor vehicle. Liability insurance covers accidents if you are at fault. In Kentucky, the minimum liability policy limits are $25,000 per injured person, $50,000 per occurrence, and $10,000 for property damage. We recommend that you have more coverage than the $25,000 minimum because if you cause an accident, and if the injured person gets a judgment against you for more than $25,000, they can attach your personal assets. You can raise these limits to $50,000/$100,000, $100,000/$300,000, or $300,000/$500,000. You can purchase umbrella insurance if your assets exceed these amounts. You should always have coverage as much or more than your personal assets.

Comprehensive coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle and is only recommended to purchase if the value of your vehicle exceeds the cost of this coverage. You may be required to have coverage if you owe money on your vehicle or it is leased.

In addition to liability insurance, Kentucky requires that car insurance have a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP). PIP claims are paid from the insurance on the vehicle that you were traveling in at the time of the accident or where a vehicle hits a pedestrian. PIP can be used to pay for medical treatment, reimburse lost wages, and pay for travel to out-of-town medical providers. Personal injury attorneys should reserve these benefits if you have been injured so they will not be used up before you recover. We strongly recommend you raise these limits to $20,000 or $50,000 at minimal cost for your protection. Serious injuries can leave you off work for months and you can incur thousands in medical expenses not all covered by insurance other than PIP. The cost of raising your PIP limits is very reasonable but you will need to ask for this since it is not offered without you requesting this additional coverage.

Motorcycles are not required to have PIP, so you need to purchase PIP on your motorcycle along with uninsured/underinsured which is generally not offered for motorcycles unless you ask.

Underinsured and uninsured insurance is often included in policies and is very important. Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you if you are injured by an uninsured driver. While driving without insurance is a crime, it still happens all too often. Underinsured coverage compensates you if your injuries exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits. For example, if you sustain $30,000 in medical bills from a car accident and the at-fault driver only has $25,000 limits, then your underinsured insurance would compensate the additional $5,000. Underinsured and uninsured policies may stack (add together) for all members of the household so if bills are especially high, then an injured person can seek compensation from all household members that also have coverage. To protect your rights to stacking benefits, be sure to purchase separate policies on each vehicle with separate dec sheets.

If you have questions about auto insurance coverage, call personal injury attorney Flora Templeton Stuart at 888-782-9090 for free advice about the insurance you need to purchase. Visit our FAQ for more information on insurance. Offices are located in Bowling Green and Glasgow, Kentucky.

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