The phrase “full coverage” is often used. What does it mean, exactly? Unfortunately, not a whole lot. “Full coverage” means different things to different people. An insurance agent will tell you it means one thing, a bank will tell you another, and a personal injury lawyer Arlington TX trusts will tell you yet another. So what should it mean to you? The answer is: NOTHING.
You should be informed as to exactly what kinds of coverage you have, including the maximum dollar amounts of coverage and the deductible. Avoid the lazy short-cut phrase of “I want full coverage” when you are getting or reviewing your coverage with your insurance agent. Go through each and every one of the coverages available. Thousands of people who have been injured in accidents who think they have “full coverage” are heartbroken to learn that they may be out-of-pocket for thousands of dollars for an accident where someone else was at fault! I will go over some of the types of coverages you should ask about, and consider when purchasing insurance.
This is the base coverage where everyone starts. If you are at fault for causing an accident liability only covers the property damage and the bodily injury damage for the other parties involved. These damages are covered up to the limits you have purchased. In Texas the minimum coverage for this type of policy is $30,000.00 in bodily injury damage if there is only one person involved. Then $60,000.00 in bodily injury damage if there is multiple people involved. Then $25,000.00 for property damage. Depending to the person what they pay for these amounts can be higher. In my experience though this is what most people have so you may want to protect yourself with some additional coverages.
Collision and Comprehensive:
This coverage is sometimes added to make sure a person’s vehicle is repaired or replaced no matter who is at fault for the collision. This is coverage only applies to the property damage. This is what most people mean when they say “full coverage”. However, if you are injured and the other driver does not have insurance or does not have enough you will be out of pocket for those costs.
Uninsured/Under insured and Personal Injury Protection(PIP):
These are elective coverages that in Texas you are usually asked to sign a form saying if you accept or reject the coverages. Uninsured/Underinsured coverage will cover the injuries you sustain in an accident if a) the person at fault had no insurance at all; or b) they have a smaller policy than what your medical bills are. An example of B would be your medical bills are $45,000.00, and the person at faults policy is only $30,000.00. The reason being you can’t recover more than what the policy is worth in most cases. In Texas the coverage minimum is the same as what ever you have for liability coverage or more. Personal Injury Protection or PIP is a coverage that can be used for different things. It can help with lost wages or can help with medical bills. In Texas coverage is usually purchased in $2,500.00 increments.
Hopefully, this clarifies some coverages you have and will help you next time you are purchasing insurance.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into insurance coverage.