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Understanding Coverage’s

Medical Payments Coverage Medical Payments Coverage pays medical related expenses for you and your passengers regardless of who was at fault in the accident.  If you have good health insurance coverage, consider dropping Medical Payments coverage. On the other hand, if you do not have health insurance, consider increasing your coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is probably the most misunderstood coverage in our state. If you are involved in an accident and the other party is at-fault, and this other party in either uninsured or underinsured, UM coverage will allow you and your passengers to collect for your bodily injuries under your UM coverage subject to the limits you have purchased. Bodily injury includes things like medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. Basically, anything that is legally recoverable from the responsible party can be recovered under your UM coverage with ONE BIG EXCEPTION and that is your property damage……your damaged vehicle. In Oklahoma you would need Collision coverage on your vehicle and your insurance company would fix your vehicle subject to your deductible. I am an advocate for UM coverage. However, I do believe that retired individuals usually have a lesser need for UM coverage due to the fact that their income is not going to change if they are laid-up due to an accident. With that said, I still recommend UM coverage to my retired customers if it is within their income restrictions.

Liability Coverage Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (BIPDL) coverage is, in my opinion, the most important coverage on your auto insurance policy. The limits that you purchase represent the amount of money that the insurance company will pay to someone else due to an accident in which you caused bodily injury or property damage. If you do not have sufficient limits to settle a claim, the other party can sue you to recover additional money above your insurance coverage. BIPDL coverage protects your personal assets! Therefore, the moreassets you have, the higher coverage you should carry. Personal Umbrella Policies (PUP) will provide you with $1,000,000.00 of coverage over and above your base policy limits. These policies are almost always very inexpensive relative to your potential savings. Your BIPDL coverage should usually be the last place you look to try to save money.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage These two coverages cover the physical damage to your vehicle.  Comprehensive Coverage includes things like flood damage, wind and hail, theft, fire vandalism and falling objects.  Collision Coverage is all other covered perils.  Therefore, if you lose control on the ice and hit a curb, that is a Collision claim.  Your deductible for these two coverages can be the same or different.  Some customers like to have a lower deductible on Comprehensive losses.  Customers ask me all the time if they should drop the Comprehensive and Collision coverage on their older vehicles. To help them analyze this, I usually ask them what the total value of that vehicle is. I then ask them how big of a bind it would put them in to replace that vehicle. If the customer can replace the vehicle without financial hardship, they should probably drop these two coverages. If it is going to create an undue hardship, I suggest they keep it. Insurance is here to take on the financial risk that you are not able or willing to assume.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage If you have a Collision or Comprehensive claim under your policy, you need to purchase Rental Reimbursement coverage if you want your insurance company to assist with a rental vehicle. Many customers choose not to buy this coverage; however, it seems like everyone wants it when their car is in the body shop. The cost of this coverage is usually around $20.00 every 6 months for each vehicle that has the coverage.

Towing Coverage Towing coverage will reimburse you if your vehicle has to be towed due to a mechanical problem. This coverage is usually cheap and good to have, especially on older vehicles.