FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE
In many states, like Texas, drivers are required to carry a minimal limit policy of 30/60/25 to protect others from your potential negligence. IT IS THE LAW. Punishable by a hefty citation that if not resolved in a timely manner can lead to suspension of your driver’s license.
For the purpose of clarity, let me break it on down. The 30/60 denotes the monetary amount of coverage available. These are monies to be paid by your carrier to claimants (parties you have caused injury with your negligence) for compensation of their injuries. That being said, the most that can be paid to one injured party is 30k per incident and the most to be paid all injured parties is 60K per incident.
And that leads us to the last number in the set of three numbers. This number is for property damage only. The most your insurance will pay out on property damage per incident is $25k.
And here we are at comprehensive and collision coverage. f you have a lien holder on your car you may be contractually obligated to carry comprehensive and collision coverage on your vehicle until it is loan is paid in full. By carrying comp and collision the lien holder is assured that the car will be adjusted/repaired or the fair market value will be paid to the lien holder and either fixed or the value paid to them in the event the vehicle sustains damage, etc. The ins and outs of these two coverages are a story all their own and perhaps we will read it one day but today is not the day. That being said…The above coverages liability injury, property damage, comprehensive and collision are what is considered “full coverage”. I cannot tell you how many times over the years I have asked someone if they carried PIP/UM/UIM on their policy and more often than not they respond. “I’m sure I do. I have FULL COVERAGE”. But FULL does not mean all. Full means the minimum liability limits, comprehensive and collision.
Thankfully people are becoming more and more cognizant of additional coverages available to them. These are sometimes called elective coverages or no-fault coverage but most often referred to as FIRST PARTY COVERAGE.
FIRST PARTY – NO FAULT – ELECTIVE COVERAGE
Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payments, Uninsured, Underinsured and These coverages are all elective coverages. You have to add them to your policy and pay a premium for each if you wish to have them. Both are no fault and can be recovered if you were at fault of another person was at fault (with you involved and injured of course). Both are fairly inexpensive adding maybe a dollar a day at best to your premium during the policy period. Both may be recovered by completing an Application for benefits and submitting with coded medical bills. Both may be stacked in that if you are in my car and Mr. Jinx rear ends us at the corner, you can make claim and recovery under my policy for PIP benefits (you’re in my car so it is the primary PIP) and once exhausted you could recover the PIP benefits under your policy (your policy is the secondary). And let’s just go say you are living with your Mom and Dad while your house is being built. If they have PIP on their policy than you could recovery that layer as well! BUT you must recover them in that order and you will have to present bills not considered by the other carriers to recover each layer thereafter. However, in my case, I could only recover under my PIP coverage UNLESS I too resided with someone that had a separate policy from my policy and any other available to me would be secondary.
Now, what makes them different?
While PIP is not a required coverage to include on your insurance policy, if you DO NOT want Personal Injury Protection, known as PIP, you must actually acknowledge and sign and waiver or rejection acknowledging you know it exists but you do not want it. Well and if you do not want you’re not the brightest Crayola in the box. So for example, your attorney, like a car accident lawyer Arlington TX trusts, could request the signed rejection from the carrier and they cannot present it for one reason or another. They lost it, they forgot to have you sign it…whatever…if they cannot produce it you automatically have $2500 (minimum limit available) in PIP benefits available to you. Isn’t that nifty? It makes me smile!
And here comes the closer. The biggest and most convincing element that makes PIP far superior to Med Pay is PIP IS NOT SUBROGATABLE. Subrogation is when one party claims the legal rights of another that it has paid for losses but if other funds are available they want their money back. Yes, Mr. Med Pay Payer says here’s $2500 for your medical bills. Then your attorney calls and says good news! We received an offer of $7,000 for settlement of your injury claim. We will take our fee of $2,450. Since your bills are paid we will write you a check for $4550. NOT IF YOU HAVE MEDICAL PAYMENTS INSTEAD OF PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION. In the later scenario, you will receive $2050
You can’t afford not to.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into personal injury and insurance coverage.