Understanding Your Auto Policy Made Simple

Car insurance is essential. It’s an agreement between the owner and the insurance company. You need to understand what you are buying and, more importantly, what you will get. These are the essential facts you need to understand about your car insurance policy.

An agreement between you (the insured) and the insurance company (the insurer). An agreement between you (the insuree) and the insurer (the insurance company). It is essentially an agreement in which you pay the insurance carrier premium in return for a policy that covers injuries or property loss.

An auto insurance policy in New York that is standard provides the following coverage/ benefits:

I. No-Fault Insurance: In the event that you, as a passenger or driver in a car, are hurt, the host car (the vehicle you are driving or riding in) will pay for your medical and other expenses. If you’re a pedestrian, the driver of the car that hit you will be responsible for your insurance costs. Even if your health insurance is Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield or GHI, the insurance carrier of the host vehicle must still pay the medical costs for any injuries. Even if the driver caused the accident, you are responsible for your injuries. No-Fault insurance covers all necessary medical expenses. This includes the cost of the hospital, the doctor’s visits, the prescription medication, the device, transportation to and back from the clinics, as well as lost wages due to your inability to work. Keep a record of all health care providers and keep receipts. If you do not file the claim within the deadline of 30 days, you risk losing all your benefits.

II. Property Damage: You, as the owner/driver of a car, are protected from property damage caused by your negligence or carelessness. Your car will pay the car owner for any damage done to the car by you if it crashes into another car or disobeys a red light. Your insurance carrier will cover the damage to your house if your driver is negligent and you crash into another car.

III. Bodily Injury Protection is a protection against bodily injury. Let us say that a driver disregards a red signal and crashes into your vehicle, causing personal injuries. The no-fault benefits you will receive from your auto insurance (see paragraph I) may also include compensation for pain and suffering (loss in enjoyment of life) from the insurance company of the other vehicle. Although there are many legal guidelines regarding what constitutes “serious” personal injuries and the various compensatory value, it is important to note that each case is different.

IV. IV. New York law requires that a motor vehicle must be at least $25,000/$50,000 in liability coverage to allow it to operate on the roads. This means $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident coverage. If your injuries are severe and the coverage of another vehicle is less than $25,000, you might not receive proper compensation from that vehicle’s insurer. Your own insurance will protect you if you choose to have a higher vehicle liability limit, such as $100,000/$300,000. You can get $25,000 from the vehicle in question and an additional $75,000 through your own insurance. High un/under limits will protect you. Bodily injury and property damage coverage cover for injuries or damage you cause to others. Un/under insurance coverage covers you if the person who caused your injury or damage doesn’t have enough insurance. It is well worth paying the small extra cost to have high un/under limits.

V. Collision & Comprehensive: Comprehensive Collision Coverage provides protection for your vehicle regardless of the fault of the other party. Your car will be repaired if you break a stop sign or text while driving and smash it into a pole. Comprehensive coverage covers your vehicle in the event of fire or theft.

Deductibles: Comprehensive, No-Fault, Collision, and Comprehensive coverage are all subject to a $200, $500, or $1,000 deductible. The deductible is the amount you have to pay out of your pocket before you can use your insurance for the rest. Your premium should be lower the higher you select a deductible.

When choosing a car insurance provider, you should be careful about the catchy advertisements. It is important to evaluate an insurance company’s integrity in honoring claims. This includes first-party benefits. These are benefits you, as an insured, are entitled to without any lawsuit. In a car accident, the injured person’s medical and any other related expenses are covered by the insurance company of the host vehicle. These are the basic elements of an insurance contract. However, it is surprising to learn how many legitimate benefits claims are denied by insurance companies. Many benefits go unprocessed, which is a further win-win for the insurance companies. This is because many consumers don’t fully understand their rights and are unable to access them. Insurance companies won’t even send out fine print notices to inform customers.

The New York Insurance Department or your state’s Insurance Department is a good place to start when researching insurance companies. They maintain a list of complaints about insurance companies that can be viewed by the public. It is also a good idea to ask an agent for advice. However, be aware of any biases the agent might have. The agent is a salesman and may sell only one company. A lawyer who has experience in insurance litigation and claims is a sound advice. The lawyer will not have any biases or interests other than to give objective advice that is in your best interests.