Automobile accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. The consequences can range from a dented bumper to serious injuries or even death. That’s why being adequately insured and knowing your financial risk exposure will be limited can give you valuable peace of mind. The following goes over some vital car accident advice you should know.
Preparing for Potential Car Accidents
Nobody ever wants to be involved in an automobile accident, but there are some common-sense steps you can take to help prepare for the possibility you may be involved in an accident in the future. Chief among them is buying auto insurance.
An insurance professional can be invaluable in helping you evaluate various coverage options and select a policy that will meet your budgetary constraints while providing the protection you need in an accident.
Understanding Different Types of Auto Insurance
State law requires motorists to have certain insurance coverages. In New Jersey, for example, the law says drivers need three different types of insurance protection: liability, personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage.
Property Damage Liability Insurance
Property damage liability coverage is coverage you purchase so that if your vehicle causes damage to someone else’s property, you are not personally financially liable.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Where liability coverage will pay for damages to someone else’s property, it will not cover medical expenses. That’s where personal injury protection (PIP) comes in. PIP will pay medical expenses you or others incur as the result of an accident, whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
While the law requires everyone to have insurance, there are still drivers on the road who don’t have coverage (or who don’t have enough coverage). So NJ and some other states’ laws also require motorists to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, which can protect you from financial loss if the other driver in the accident didn’t have enough auto insurance to cover the damage.
State Minimum Required Insurance Amounts May Be Insufficient
Having enough insurance to comply with state law may keep you out of legal trouble in an accident. However, those minimum coverage amounts may simply not be enough to cover the expenses associated with an accident.
These additional auto insurance coverage types may help further protect you from financial risk:
Bodily Injury Liability
Consumers who buy bodily injury liability coverage have protection against insurance claims or lawsuits from people who are injured in (or die as the result of) an accident you caused. This coverage can pay for pain and suffering in addition to financial damages like lost wages that resulted from the accident.
Another optional coverage type is “collision” insurance. If your car collides with another vehicle or another object and is damaged as a result, collision insurance will pay for the cost of repairs, up to the policy limits.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from collisions with animals (such as damage caused by hitting a deer), and for non-collision damage including vandalism, theft or broken windows.
Additional PIP Coverages
In addition to standard PIP coverages, motorists can also select policies that pay for your own lost wages due to an accident, essential services if you need to pay someone to help with tasks like housework or yard work while you recover, funeral expenses and even death benefits.
Other policy benefits, such as rental car reimbursement, special equipment coverage and loan/lease payoff protection may also be available for your consideration.
What to Do After an Accident
Knowing what to do when an accident occurs can help you keep a level head during a stressful event.
First, do your best to stay calm. Check your injuries, and check your passengers to make sure everyone is OK. Call 911 to report the accident if you can do so. Activating your vehicle’s hazard lights can help warn approaching traffic while you wait for help to arrive.
It’s also important to exchange contact information, driver’s license numbers and insurance information with the other driver(s) and with any witnesses to the accident. Be polite with others at the scene, but don’t admit fault, even if you think you were responsible for the accident. There could be other factors you aren’t aware of that played a role in causing the accident.
As soon as you can do so, contact your insurance agent or company to report the accident. A claims representative can help walk you through what to expect at every step of the process.
Is Your Auto Insurance Sufficient? KORE Can Help
Having the right types of – and amounts of – auto insurance coverage can be invaluable after a car accident occurs.
Understanding the various options and decisions you have to make when choosing an auto insurance policy can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t need to go it alone.
KORE Insurance Holdings can help you evaluate your existing auto insurance coverage to determine if your risks are adequately protected. To learn more about our services and receive car accident advice, contact us by calling (973) 994-3131, or complete our online contact form today.