Other Types of Insurance Coverage You May Want to Consider
As we explained in the blog “Uninsured and Underinsured Automobile Insurance: Why You Need It,” if you drive in California, you are required to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is intended to protect other drivers should you cause an accident. The blog also explained why it’s a good idea to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. But there are other types of auto insurance coverage available that you may want to consider adding to your policy. Let’s examine them:
- Collision: Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Collision coverage will also repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged by hitting an object, such as a tree; or if damaged in a rollover accident. However, collision insurance will not cover repairs for non-accident-related damage to your vehicle, such as hail damage or vandalism. It will also not cover theft, nor damage to another driver’s car. If you’ve financed your car, or are leasing it, collision insurance is mandatory. Most collision policies carry a deductible.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage will repair or replace your vehicle when damaged by something other than a collision. This includes theft, vandalism, natural disasters like hail or flooding, catching fire, hitting an animal, etc. Basically, it covers what collision doesn’t cover. Like collision, comprehensive coverage usually has a deductible, and is mandatory when you’re leasing or financing your vehicle.
- Medical Payment: As the name implies, this type of coverage can help pay medical expenses associated with a traffic accident, regardless of who is at fault. A medical payment policy covers you, your passengers, and any family member who was driving the insured vehicle at the time of the accident. Medical payment coverage can also help pay medical expenses if you or a family member is injured while riding in another vehicle, or as a pedestrian. Medical payment coverage can also be used to pay copays and deductibles under your health insurance plan.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP can be used in ways similar to medical payment coverage, but can also cover lost wages if your injuries from a traffic accident force you to miss work. PIP can also be used to cover expenses related to your injuries, such as childcare or maid service while you are unable to perform those duties. Lastly, PIP can help your family pay for your funeral and burial in the unfortunate case that you’re killed in a crash.
- Gap Insurance: Your vehicle’s value can depreciate much faster than you would like it to. If your vehicle is totaled or stolen before you finish paying for it, the insurance payout you receive may not be large enough to cover what you owe on the loan. Gap insurance can help you pay off what’s left of your loan.
- Rental: If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, rental coverage will pay for your rental car.
- Towing and Labor: Often called roadside assistance, this type of coverage pays the cost of towing and other emergency services, like changing a tire, a jumpstart, keys locked in a car, etc. Some policies may help with the cost of repairs. In most cases, towing and labor/roadside assistance is only available if you already have comprehensive coverage.
- Personal Umbrella Insurance: A personal umbrella policy is valuable when you are found liable for an accident or injury, and the settlement or judgment against you exceeds your policy limits. Personal umbrella coverage can pay the difference, and keep you from paying out of your own pocket or losing your home and other assets.
- Additional Coverage: Additional insurance can be purchased for things permanently attached to your vehicle. This would include stereos, speakers, navigation systems, custom rims, etc. Clearly, there is no shortage of insurance coverage you can buy.
The one kind of coverage you cannot buy is assurance that an insurance company—yours, or another driver’s—will award you the compensation you justly deserve. If you feel the settlement being offered to you is inadequate, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at the Newport Beach office of Allen Flatt Ballidis & Leslie. Call (949) 752-7474 for a free consultation.
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