WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGES ACTUALLY COVER?
June 20, 2012by Lyris Medrano
You can purchase several types of auto insurance coverage that will protect you in different scenarios.
Liability coverage is mandatory in the State of Wisconsin and includes coverage for bodily injuries and property damage which you cause in an accident. These coverages “follow” the vehicle, meaning that even if you have a liability policy on one of your vehicles, you are not covered if you drive your own or someone else’s uninsured vehicle.
Uninsured motorist coverage, (UM), is also required by law and protects you in the event that you, your family members, or passengers in your vehicle are injured by another driver and the at-fault driver has no insurance or if you are the victim of a hit and run. This is a coverage that “follows” you and your family members, meaning that if, for example, you are injured in an accident while riding in someone else’s car or while you are a pedestrian, you are still under your UM coverage.
Other coverages such as medical payments, collision, comprehensive, and underinsured motorist coverage are not mandatory, but are types of coverage most drivers should have.
Medical payments coverage pays for medical treatment or funeral costs in case you or anyone else riding in or driving your vehicle is injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage will pay for reasonable medical expenses that are not covered by other insurance. This coverage also “follows” you and your family members.
Collision and comprehensive coverage pay for physical damages to your vehicle and are usually required if you have a lienholder like a bank who lent you money to buy the car. Collision coverage protects you by paying for damage to the vehicle in the event the driver who hit you is uninsured or if you are at fault for an accident and your vehicle is damaged. If your damage is caused by hail or theft, for example, or if you hit a deer or other animal, comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car.
Finally, underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) protects you in the event an at-fault driver has insurance, but not enough to cover your damages. For example, if you are injured by a driver who carries only the minimum liability coverage of $25,000 and your damages exceed the $25,000, your UIM coverage kicks in and pays the difference.
Every insurance company writes its own policy and you should read yours when you get it. You should especially be aware of the section of your policy that describes the “Exclusions” of the policy. This section (or sections) spells out what specifically is NOT covered under your policy. Talk to your insurance agent if you have questions about your policy or the types of coverage you should carry.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, we may be able to help. Call Hawks Quindel for a free, no obligation consultation at (414) 271-8650.
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