Insurance and You
Insurance is an agreement between parties to transfer risk. That means that one party pays another party to provide financial compensation in the event of loss of assets, property or life. Most Americans are most familiar with personal insurance that protects their homes and cars, the problem is that most Americans don’t understand what they are paying for. We want to help you have a better understanding and overtime use this platform to educate you about personal insurance and its benefits.
To begin we will review personal auto insurance and what coverage is required by the state of Washington and what those coverages mean.
Personal Auto Insurance is coverage provided for motorized vehicles with 2 axles. The vehicles must be street legal and made for standard highway use. The grouping of covered vehicles does not include buses, box trucks, flatbed trucks, semi-trucks, tow trucks or modified cargo vans used in business, some companies will allow coverage on this policy type for scooters and motorcycles. Many vehicles used in commercial businesses are also excluded from personal insurance.
Personal Auto Insurance coverage consists of the following:
Liability- This coverage provides protection to the policyholder if they are found to be at fault in an accident. There are two parts to this coverage.
Bodily Injury -25/50
Property Damage- 10
- Bodily Injury- Will provide payment up to policy limits of medical and hospital costs, loss of wages and funeral/death expenses to a party that is injured by the insured in an at fault accident.
- Property Damage- Will provide monetary benefit up to the policy limits to a party that has property damaged by you in an at fault accident.
In the state of Washington, the minimum amount of required insurance coverage is 25,000 maximum pay out to one person, 50,000 maximum to multiple persons and 10,000 maximum pay out for property damage. Higher coverages are available and recommended.
The following coverages are optional however, they are recommended to provide the most protection in the event of an accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)- This coverage provides protection directly to you the insured in the event of an accident no matter who is at fault. It provides coverage for the insured and family members who may be injured in vehicle accident or as a pedestrian. The coverage provides for medical and hospital expenses up to the policy limits. It also provides for funeral expenses, lost wages and loss of services. The full scope of coverage should be discussed with your agent or carrier. You are required to sign off if you decline this coverage.
Medical Coverage- This coverage is available when you are at fault in an accident and you and any passengers are injured, it provides coverage for medical and hospital expense ,funeral costs and if you are injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist. There are varying levels of coverage available and you should discuss the options with your agent or carrier. You are required to sign off if you decline this coverage.
Comprehensive- This is coverage for your vehicle if damage is caused by acts of nature or theft. A deductible amount will be paid by you before insurance kicks in. The types of incidents that fall under this coverage are cracked or broken windshield, stolen vehicles, vandalism, damage by rodents, damage cause by hitting a wild animal, a tree falling on the vehicle. If you think that you may have this type of damage call your agent before filing a claim to get the proper guidance. If you finance or lease a vehicle your financial institution will require this coverage.
Collision- This is coverage for your vehicle if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle or property .Coverage is available if the other party is at fault but does not have insurance or if you are at fault in an accident. A deductible amount will be paid before insurance kicks in. It is always best to contact your agent prior to filing any claim so that you can receive the proper guidance on how to proceed. If you finance or lease a vehicle your financial institution will require this coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist- This coverage will provide you with bodily injury protection in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and you are not at fault. The coverage will provide payment of medical and hospital costs, loss of wages and funeral/death expenses. This is a supplemental coverage and should be discussed in detail with your agent or carrier. You are required to sign off if you decline this coverage.
Uninsured motorist property damage- This coverage provides protection to your vehicle if you are in a non-fault accident with an uninsured driver, hit and run or phantom driver and your vehicle is damaged. There is a deductible of no more than 300.00. This coverage and its applications should be discussed with your agent or carrier. You are required to sign off if you decline this coverage.
We hope this helps as a quick reference to what your personal auto insurance covers.