When you purchased your new car, you also bought “full coverage” auto insurance to protect you and your vehicle in case of an accident. However, you were driving home from work when a distracted motorist hit you and drove away. Now your bills are coming in, and you are paying a lot more than you expected. Shouldn’t auto insurance cover all of your medical and car repair bills?
What insurance did you purchase?
The amount that you pay versus the amount that your insurance pays depends upon your plan. Texas only requires liability insurance, but the three most common types of auto insurance are:
- Liability insurance – covers another parties’ medical and car repair bills if you cause an accident
- Comprehensive protection – covers natural damages to your car that are not caused by a collision
- Collision coverage insurance – covers damage to your car when you collide with another object
When you purchase a plan, you determine the maximum amount that can be paid out to you in each circumstance. Depending on the severity of the accident, all of your bills may not be covered by your primary insurance plan. If you do not determine the maximum payout amount, insurance companies typically only cover you for the minimum amount required by Texas law ($30,000 for each injured person, $60,000 for injuries per incident, $25,000 for property damages).
However, there are some circumstances that these basic insurance plans do not cover. In the case of the scenario above, you may have benefited from purchasing Uninsured Motorist Insurance and Gap Insurance.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured Motorist Insurance protects you if you are hit by a driver who is not insured, or who hits you and flees the scene of the accident. This insurance is required in many states, but it is optional in Texas. If you opt-out of this coverage, you must refuse the protection in writing.
What is Gap Insurance?
Gap Insurance is essential if you buy a new car and take out a large auto loan. If you are in an accident and your new car is severely damaged, you may find yourself with a car that is worth less than what you owe. Gap Insurance would help you pay off your car loan.
Speak with your insurance provider
Having car insurance does not mean that all of your car repair and medical bills are completely covered in the event of an accident. Policies insure you up to different amounts and cover separate mishaps depending upon your plan. Speak with your insurance company to make sure that you know what your coverage options are, and how much each policy will cover you.
If you are involved in a severe accident, contact an attorney who can help you fully explore your insurance repayment options, and gain the compensation you deserve.