It can be difficult to determine the appropriate type of insurance coverage to obtain since there are various types, along with various deductible amounts available. At times, this may cause consumers to purchase insurance that isn’t necessary or not buying the coverage they would actually benefit most from.
Types of Insurance
Coverage that is legally required isn’t necessarily the same in every state. It’s important for drivers to confirm the legality of their insurance, as well as the amounts of insurance coverage they are purchasing. Coverage options include the following:
- Collision Coverage. Collision coverage applies to any damages relating to your vehicle crashing into another object. This may include a building, vehicle, or even a fire hydrant. You have the option of selecting your deductible for coverage relating to these types of incidents. However, if you are leasing a vehicle, then there is a chance they might make the deductible around $500 or $1,000.
- Comprehensive Coverage. This coverage is for when your car is stolen or if it gets damaged without an accident occurring. Examples include natural disasters, hail, floods, and fire. Vandalism may also apply. You are permitted to select your deductible for comprehensive coverage.
- Liability Coverage. California requires drivers to have liability coverage. There are two sections to liability which include bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury is primarily used to pay for expenses that are related to injuries or death if you were the one that caused the accident. Property damage will pay for the expenses if you are at fault for damaging the other individual(s) property.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage will come into play if you get into a car collision with someone who does not have insurance or who is not carrying a sufficient amount of coverage. The insurance company will provide you with this coverage. If you decide not to purchase it, then you are required to sign a waiver which indicates your refusal to accept the coverage provided by the company.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI). Primarily emphasizes paying for the injuries you and any other individual in the car suffered because of an uninsured driver who is at fault for the accident.
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM). Helps cover the expenses for bodily injury if you are involved in an accident with an individual who does not have the appropriate amount of insurance to pay the damages.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD). Covers the damages your car sustained from a collision with an at fault, uninsured driver. Limit is $3,500. This coverage will only apply once the uninsured driver is identified. You do not need this type of coverage if you already have collision coverage.
Medical Payment Coverage
This coverage primarily covers the medical expenses for you, along with any other individual in the car with you. You will receive immediate medical care regardless of who is at fault for the collision. The minimum limit you are permitted to purchase is $1,000 for each person that suffered an injury. You are allowed to request higher limits of coverage.
Importance Of Medical Care Coverage
Medical Care Coverage has the capability of covering a wide variety of costs including:
- Injury treatment for you and others involved in an accident that require medical assistance.
- Funeral costs.
- Pedestrian or bicyclist accidents.
- Dental care for those who sustained injuries from a car accident.
To have access to medical pay, symptoms after a collision must be noticeable within the first few days after the collision took place. An example could be back pain experienced soon after being involved in a car accident. This would typically not be an allowable expense under medical pay from your auto insurance, for example.
Should I Get Medical Pay Coverage?
Consider the following factors to get an idea on whether or not you think it is essential to get this type of coverage:
- Health Insurance Coverage. Confirm with your health insurance company to see if they offer medical care coverage for car accidents. If there is an offer, take into consideration your existing health insurance coverage to formulate whether you believe it is worth paying for additional coverage. If you happen to find that your health insurance does not have beneficial coverage for vehicle collision injuries, it might be wise to pay for medical pay coverage on your auto insurance.
- Cost of Medical Pay Coverage. Request quotes with and without including medical pay coverage to get an idea of the additional costs to your auto insurance policy. Take note that the cost for medical pay will vary depending on:
- Marital Status
- Driving Record
- Previous Claims
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage. Similar to medical pay coverage when it comes to paying for injuries that are caused by car accidents. It differentiates itself from medical pay by providing for loss-of-income payments while medical pay does not. No-fault states make it a requirement for individuals to have this coverage. California is not included as a state that requires this coverage.
Check with your insurance company for additional information regarding your decision on purchasing medical pay coverage.
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