Will My Insurance Cover Me if I Am Injured?
Many people think if they have "full coverage" they will be covered for any medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering etc., they incur as a result of an accident. Think again. This article debunks the "full coverage" myth.
What are state minimum limits?Every state requires a driver to carry insurance on their car, truck or motorcycle in case of an accident. This insurance would pay the injured person for their injuries and damages. In Illinois and Indiana, the minimums are as follows: $25,000 personal injury liability per person and $50,000 personal injury liability per accident. What these numbers mean is that if you are involved in an accident and the other vehicle is at fault and only has minimum limits, their insurance will pay up to $25,000 for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering; everything. $25,000--that's it. Period. If you are on a motorcycle and hit by a car or truck, chances are high this will not be enough to compensate you for your injuries. That is why you need to protect yourself with uninsured or underinsured coverage.
Why are state minimum limits insufficient?Let's say you are on a motorcycle and hit by a car with minimum limits. Let's say in that accident, you break a leg and ankle, require surgery, and are off work for twelve weeks. The state minimum limit of $25,000 is not going to be enough to help you. Or imagine even worse, the driver who hits you has no insurance and you only have state required liability insurance, then you get nothing; zero, unless you have uninsured coverage. And if your uninsured coverage is only the minimum $25,000, that is very likely all you will get. So, again, you can be drowning in debt and struggle to pay your monthly bills.
Why is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage so important?If you are the person in the example above, you are in trouble unless you have uninsured and underinsured insurance with limits higher than the state minimum. However, if you are the person in the above example, but instead of having the minimum limits, you have a $100,000 per person uninsured/underinsured policy or even better $250,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage, you will be in a much better financial situtation if injured.
What is Umbrella Coverage?Although you can never account for every eventuality, protecting yourself with $250,000 in underinsured and uninsured coverage as described above helps. However, you are not limited to your uninsured/underinsured policy limits if you have what is called an "umbrella policy" that covers you for uninsured/underinsured accidents. A $1 million dollar (or greater) umbrella policy can be purchased and cover you whether you are in your car, on your motorcycle or any other vehicle that falls under your "umbrella." This type of policy makes a lot more sense than hoping the the other driver's insurance will be enough to compensate you and your family for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages.