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What Does Your Auto Insurance Actually Cover?

By Jill Bracken-Emerson on August 5, 2021

When you first start looking at an auto insurance policy, your first question will be, “How much is this going to cost me?” Auto insurance rates can fluctuate due to many factors, but the real value of these policies is how they can help you in a collision. Auto insurance is not only a legal requirement for drivers in the state of Indiana, but an invaluable source of compensation when you are injured.

The Role of Liability Insurance

Liability coverage provides compensation to individuals injured in a car accident by a policy holder. If a driver struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk, then the pedestrian could file a claim against the driver’s liability coverage to recover compensation for his or her injuries. Liability coverage also protects drivers from civil litigation in the event of an accident, meaning victims cannot file lawsuits directly against at-fault drivers. Instead, they must go through the driver’s insurance for compensation.

The Indiana Department of Insurance requires all drivers to have minimum liability coverage for:

  • Bodily Injuries to One Party: $25,000
  • Bodily Injuries per Accident: $50,000
  • Property Damage: $25,000

Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage Is Mandatory

Despite state law requiring drivers to have minimum liability insurance, more than 15% of drivers do not have auto insurance. In addition, most drivers only have the minimum amount of coverage, which may not fully cover the costs of a victim’s medical bills. To deal with these scenarios, Indiana state law requires that drivers who do have liability coverage also receive uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

Auto insurance companies are required to include these types of coverage in new auto insurance policies, and policyholders can only refuse them in writing. Due to this, UM and UIM coverage is built into most auto insurance policies and provides important coverage for:

  • UM: UM coverage provides compensation when accident victims are injured by drivers who either do not have auto insurance or are not available to file a claim against, such as with a hit-and-run accident.
  • UIM: UIM coverage provides additional coverage when an at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay for a victim’s damages. For example, if an at-fault driver only has $25,000 in liability coverage and a victim has $50,000 in medical bills, then the victim can file a claim against his or her UIM coverage to make up the additional $25,000.

UM and UIM coverage are designed to match a driver’s liability policy, meaning most drivers have at minimum $25,000 in UM and UIM coverage. These policies also make the victim’s insurance company the at-fault party in a claim, and it may want to pay as little as possible in compensation. If you need to file a UM or UIM claim, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney.

The Value of MedPay

While not required by state law, MedPay, or personal injury protection (PIP), can provide important coverage after an accident that you may consider adding to your auto insurance policy. MedPay is a type of no-fault auto insurance that provides compensation for medical bills directly after an accident. MedPay automatically activates after an accident and allows patients to get immediate coverage for their emergency room bills and treatment. MedPay policies typically start at $1,000 and can be increased to up to $10,000. Depending on your circumstances, these policies may only add a small fee to your monthly rates and can provide important coverage when you need to get your medical bills paid.

Why You Should Talk to an Attorney After a Collision

As invaluable as auto insurance is after an accident, it can also be a headache to get proper compensation for your injuries. Even if another driver clearly caused your injuries through an act of negligence, you may still face an uphill battle to get his or her insurance company to pay for your medical bills, much less the other costs that you have suffered.

At Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C., we have met with many clients who were discouraged while dealing with car accident claims on their own. Insurance companies often lowball victims with small initial offers that hardly cover emergency room bills. But that is where we come in.

Insurance companies would prefer for you to never meet with us because we make sure to clearly explain all forms of compensation that you can recover in a claim, including compensation for your lost wages, the physical pain of your injuries, and the mental stress of the accident. Not only will we help you calculate these damages so you know what you deserve in a car accident claim, but we also will represent you throughout your case and advocate for the highest possible award. If push comes to shove and the insurance company will not settle, we can take them to court to get you compensation in a personal injury trial.

In addition to standing up to an at-fault driver’s insurance company, we can also represent you in a claim against your own insurance company if you have a UM or UIM claim. This ensures that you get the most out of your claim and always understand your rights to compensation.

Instead of taking on an insurance company alone, contact us at (317) 969-8000 for a free consultation to learn how our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys can advocate for you.

Posted in: Auto Accidents

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