Auto Insurance Claims
The Benefits Of Your Own Policy
As a Licensed Claims Adjustor, Attorney Jim Normand has a lot of experience dealing with personal injury claims. Being in an accident is an unpleasant experience, especially when the accident is not your fault. When your car is totaled and you sustain injuries that require a lot of medical treatment and time out of work, it can cause you a great deal of stress. Our attorneys at Normand | Higham understand that it is their job to make that experience more tolerable for you by making sure you receive each and every benefit you are entitled to on a prompt basis, without hassle from the insurance company.
Most people purchase automobile insurance to protect themselves in the event that they cause an accident and need adequate insurance to cover a third party. What they don’t realize is that their insurance policy can work for them too, regardless of fault. The most important coverages on your policy are the Liability Coverage, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, and Medical Payments Coverages.
Liability coverage protects you in the event that you cause an accident that results in property damage and/or bodily injury to another party.
You should talk to your agent about increasing your liability coverage. Although you will pay a slightly higher premium, you will protect your personal assets. Moreover, since liability limits have to match uninsured motorist coverage, higher liability limits protect you if you are hurt by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you when you are injured in an accident that was caused by an uninsured person. New Hampshire does not require every driver to carry auto insurance. The limit of this coverage equals the amount you choose for your liability coverage. You can usually obtain higher liability and uninsured motorist coverage at little or no extra cost by simply increasing your deductibles in other areas of your policy.
If you are hurt by an uninsured driver, you can pursue your injury claim against your own policy under the uninsured motorist coverage. Your insurance carrier may or may not advise you of these rights, and it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to discuss your options.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This coverage goes hand-in-hand with your uninsured motorist coverage. In the event that the responsible party does not have adequate insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries, you may be entitled to additional coverage on your own policy.
Medical Payments Coverage
Also known as med-pay coverage, this coverage is designed to pay for any medical bills you or any passengers in your vehicle may incur as a result of an auto accident. The coverage is there, regardless of liability, and will not affect your rates. You can get prompt payment of your bills and pursue the driver who was at fault later. That person’s insurance company will not agree to pay your bills as you receive treatment with doctors. Rather, they will want to make an offer to settle all of your damages in one lump sum which will also include compensation for lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you must seek medical treatment, definitely contact your own carrier and use your med-pay coverage. That way your bills will be paid in a timely manner, helping you avoid hassles with collection agencies. You should think of it as health insurance on your car. Again, talk to your agent about increasing the amount of your med-pay coverage. You will find that the few dollars difference you pay in premiums will be worth it when you are injured in an accident.
Computer Program Settlement
Insurance companies’ computer programs delay settlement.
In recent years, insurance companies computer programs, such as “Colossus” or “Teach”, have been used to evaluate your accident and injuries and determine how much money it will pay a person for his or her injuries and financial damages.
Computer programs cannot determine the impact of your loss when you have been involved in an accident. How much money does a person, who has ongoing pain and limitation of mobility, deserve? How much money does a person, who can no longer pursue his favorite physical activity as a result of the collision, deserve? Often we are forced to file suit before certain insurance companies seriously consider your claims.
It is important to know the tactics that some insurance companies use and to know your legal rights. You should not rely upon the insurance company to protect your interests, because the company needs to limit the money it pays to people with claims and make a profit. If you have a question regarding insurance company practices, your benefits under your policy, or a claim you have, please feel free to contact our office.
Finally, talk to your insurance agent about getting the best coverage that you can afford. Saving a few premium dollars a year could cost you significantly more if you are in an accident. Also, take time to actually read your automobile insurance policy to see what you are entitled to and are paying for. Don’t assume that your insurance company will be looking out for you.