Know Your Car Insurance with Attorney Geoff Moore
It is recommended that every driver carry two types of car insurance: the first is called bodily injury and the second is uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. I’ll briefly explain each, as it’s very important to understand how each protects you if you’re in a car accident.
Q: WHAT IS BODILY INURY CAR INSURANCE?
A: Bodily injury car insurance protects you if you are at fault in a car accident. If you’re driving down Interstate-4 and you cause a car accident, your bodily injury insurance will kick in and pay for the damage you caused to the other car and/or any potential medical bills for the other driver. This protects you from a lawsuit.
If you are sued, you want this coverage and your insurance company to protect you from any verdict in a trial which could leave your assets exposed to an attorney. Be sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself, and if you are at fault, be sure you tell your insurance company you want them to protect you by settling the claim!
Q: WHAT IS UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST INSURANCE?
A: The second type of insurance each Orlando driver should have is called uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Just as bodily insurance protects you if you are at fault, uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance protects you if you are the victim of a car accident. To give an example: You’re driving near Disney and are rear-ended by someone named John Smith trying to run a red light. John Smith only has $10,000 of bodily injury insurance but your injuries require surgery and will amount to close to $50,000. So, in this example, John Smith’s insurance will pay out $10,000 and then your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance will pay out the remaining $40,000. (NOTE: This is if all parties, including insurance companies, are agreeable and don’t try to low-ball, which they typically will, and which is why you need an attorney to fight on your behalf.)
Even worse, there are drivers that carry NO INSURANCE. If they hit you and you are injured, or your car is destroyed, you’ll want Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist because that portion of your coverage will kick in immediately to compensate you for their injuries. Likely, if a driver has no insurance, they probably have no assets, so UM coverage may be your only option to be made whole through the civil justice system!
Q: HOW MUCH INSURANCE SHOULD I CARRY?
A: The amount of insurance you should carry is directly correlated to two things: 1)How much you can afford; and 2) The amount of personal assets you need to protect. I recommend carrying at least $100,000 of both bodily injury and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. But really, it’s best to have at least $250,000 of each, and really as much as you can comfortably afford. Remember, these coverages will protect you if you’re at fault for a car accident and also if you are in a car accident.
Still Have Questions About Your Car Insurance?
As always, this is meant to be a simple guide to help you on your path to being a responsible insured driver, and to help you in the circumstance that you are hit. But, the reality is these situations are often much more in a ‘gray’ area. Give us a call, we can help guide you through this process, even if you decide ultimately to navigate this process on your own.