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Will My Auto Insurance Cover That?

What do Medpay, UIM, Liability, Collision, UM, and Property Damage all have in common? They are different types of insurance you can carry on your car, truck, or motorcycle. If you couldn’t define them all, you might not even know what type of insurance you are (or aren’t) carrying on your vehicle. Is it enough to protect you and your family in a collision?

Review these different types of insurance before you talk with your agent. You may need to add a type of coverage or increase a limit.

Medpay – Usually $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000. This will cover the medical bills of you or your passengers up to the limit, no matter who caused the collision. In Kansas, you will see an option for PIP coverage or Personal Injury Protection.

Liability – This pays another driver or passenger for injuries if you are at fault.

Most states require a minimum amount of liability coverage. This is $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident in Missouri. With the soaring costs of medical care today, $25,000 will barely cover the cost of an ambulance ride and a hospital stay. If you carry minimum liability limits and cause $100,000 worth of damage, you can be sued for any amount over what your insurance will pay.

On the other hand, if you are injured by someone with minimum limits, this is the most their insurance company will pay you for all of your injuries, your lost wages, and your future medical bills. You would have to sue them, obtain a judgment, and then garnish their wages or place a lien on their house if you wanted to cover the rest of your damages.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) – Your own insurance company will pay you if you are hit by someone driving a vehicle with no insurance. Most states require drivers to carry $25,000 in UM coverage. This coverage will “float”, in other words, it will cover your damages if you are struck while walking, riding a bicycle, or riding in a car with someone else.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) – Your own insurance company will pay you if the person who hit you didn’t have enough insurance coverage to cover your damages. UIM is not required in Missouri; it must be specifically requested. We typically advise our clients to carry a high amount of UIM coverage to protect you, your family, and your passengers in case you are hit by a negligent driver. It’s the most likely insurance you will need.

Property Damage – This will cover any property damage you cause to someone’s fence, vehicle, or front yard. Look carefully at your limits and make sure they are adequate to cover the cost of crashing into a new car, which can run upwards of $30,000 to $50,000 these days.

Collision – Collision coverage should cover damage to your own vehicle in the case of a wreck, whether or not the accident was your fault or another driver’s fault. If it was another driver’s fault, your insurance company may pay to fix your car and then seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance. This is called “subrogation.”

If you have additional questions about what type of coverage you need or have on your vehicle, you can set up a free consultation with an experienced insurance attorney.  It is better to be prepared before an accident rather than finding out you don’t have the coverage you needed – when it’s too late.

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