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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Understanding Car Insurance

Buying car insurance is one of the most important purchases that a person can make, but it can also be intimidating for a first-time buyer. Driving without insurance can result in fines or even jail time. Because all states require drivers to have car insurance before traveling, it is important to learn as much as possible about this topic before buying. Here are a few definitions that will simplify car insurance.

Collision Coverage: Collision coverage insures your car against damage sustained from a collision with another car or object. Collision coverage is usually optional; however, if your car is not paid off or it is leased, then the purchase or lease contract may require you to carry collision coverage. Consult your contract to see if you are required to carry this coverage since, in some instances, failing to carry collision coverage could be considered a default on your loan or lease agreement. If you are not contractually required to carry collision coverage, then you should evaluate whether the cost of this coverage is more than your car’s value. If your car is very valuable or expensive, you should consider this type of coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage insures your car against damage sustained from reasons other than an accident, such as fire, theft, and vandalism. Again, if your car is on loan or lease, you may be required by your contract to purchase this type of coverage.

Liability Coverage: Liability coverage insures you against injuries and property damage that are your fault. In Kentucky, minimum liability limits are $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence, and $10,000 for property damage. You can always request higher liability limits and you should do so if you have a lot of personal assets. If you cause injuries that exceed your coverage, the person you injure will likely try to take your personal assets to satisfy their injuries. The injured party may even be able to garnish your wages.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Personal injury protection, abbreviated “PIP”, is also referred to as “no fault insurance” because this coverage pays up to $10,000 per person per accident regardless of who caused the accident. PIP benefits provide tremendous help to injured people by paying their medical bills and lost wages suffered from an accident. PIP benefits are standard on all Kentucky auto insurance policies and you can negotiate with your insurance carrier to get more than the standard $10,000 PIP benefits. If you drive a motorcycle, you should always ask for PIP because it is not standard on a motorcycle policy but the likelihood of extensive injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident is higher than the likelihood from a car accident.

Underinsurded Motorist (UIM) Coverage: Underinsured motorist coverage is another tremendously helpful form of insurance to have. If you are injured in an auto accident and the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance to pay for all of your injuries, then your underinsured coverage will help pay the difference.

Uninsured Motorist (UN) Coverage: Uninsured coverage protects you when you are the victim of a hit-and-run or are injured by a driver who has no insurance.

If you have questions about auto insurance, visit our FAQ or call personal injury attorney Flora Templeton Stuart at (888) 782-9090. Flora and her team have represented clients injured in car accidents, semi wrecks, and motorcycle accidents for nearly forty years and have experience with virtually every type of insurance policy. We have offices in Glasgow and Bowling Green, Kentucky, but will travel throughout Kentucky and Tennessee to meet with our injured clients. Contact us for more information.

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