What Does My Car Insurance Cover?

By Peter DePaolis

There is no “one size fits all” for car insurance. Generally, people tend to opt for the “state minimum” for car insurance because it is the cheapest coverage available. However, this insurance only covers damage caused by a collision to the car, not other types of damage or loss. Furthermore, it may only cover slight collisions and be insufficient to cover catastrophic accidents, the kind which lead to severe spinal injuries and brain trauma.

What Does My Car Insurance Cover?

Most people want “full coverage” that protects their vehicle against all forms of damage. However, the name for this coverage varies from state to state. In some states it is ‘full tort coverage,’ while in other states it is called ‘comprehensive.’

‘Full coverage’ is actually a misnomer; even within traditional full coverage insurance, there are many different types of coverage, and many optional amounts of each.

What Types of Car Insurance Should I Consider?

Don’t wait until you are injured in a car accident; check your policy to see what kind of coverage you have. Consider adding one or more of the following coverages to your policy if yours does not already include them:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – this helps cover your costs if you are hit by a driver with insufficient coverage or no insurance at all. This is a very important form of insurance to keep in mind, given that many opt for the minimum amount of coverage available. You should get both even if you only need one under state law.
  • Emergency road service – this coverage applies if your car breaks down and you need towing or labor.
  • Medical payments coverage – you can use this coverage if are in an accident and need medical care (even if you were at fault). This is very important considering the high likelihood of brain injury and death in motor vehicle accidents.
  • Gap insurance – if your car is totaled in an accident but you still owe on your loan or lease, this coverage helps pay the balance between that and the car’s estimated cash value.

Unfortunately, we see cases every day where people are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and do not have sufficient insurance coverage. If you have been harmed in an accident, speak to our lawyers before you agree to any amount from an insurance company to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation allowed under your policy and the law.

Did You Know? On average, auto insurance rates dropped from $799 in 2007 to $797 in 2011, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Source: http://www.dmv.org/washington-dc/car-insurance.php

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.