If you or a loved one is involved in a serious car accident, there is likely to be significant property damage to your vehicle and physical injuries requiring medical care. In these unfortunate situations, you will likely need to file a claim through your auto insurance company, and even pursue a claim against the other driver’s insurance.
This post is intended to provide an overview on automobile insurance limitations, coverage for medical payments, uninsured motorist coverage and a host of other insurance issues in Virginia. We want to make sure you have as much information as possible when faced with this difficult situation.
Auto Insurance Coverage Limits
When you purchase auto insurance, you usually purchase a plan with a particular limit for bodily injury and property damage. Many people sign up for “$25,000/50,000” or “$100,000/300,000” plans. Basically, these terms mean that an insurance company is only obligated to pay up to a certain amount per individual claimant and/or a certain amount for the accident overall. If, for example, you have a “100,000/300,000” policy, that means your auto insurance company is only required to pay up to $100,000 for your claim, and caps its total liability coverage at $300,000.
These coverage limits are why we always recommend having the most coverage you can reasonably afford. You never know if or when you will be involved in a serious car wreck so having higher coverage limits affords more protection for you and your loved ones.
Med Pay Benefits
Med Pay, also referred to as medical payments coverage, is an optional, supplementary form of insurance coverage. We strongly recommend every driver get some form of med pay coverage. Why? Because you can access this coverage right away to cover medical bills that may not be paid for months if you go through a traditional injury claim. For example, if you have $5,000 in med pay coverage and a $2,000 medical bill from an emergency room visit, you can immediately submit that bill and access your med pay coverage. If, on the other hand, you file a personal injury claim, that ER bill may not be paid for weeks or months until your claim is resolved. The accessibility and payment of this coverage is governed by statute. Virginia Code §38.2-124(B), 38.2-2201.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is a unique form of coverahe in that Virginia law requires insurance companies to include the coverage on all policies. See Virginia Code §38.2-2206. UM coverage protects you and your loved ones if you are hit by a negligent driver that either has no auto insurance or not enough insurance to cover all of the damage done in the wreck. Typically speaking, the amount of the UM coverage on a policy is equal to the amount of liability coverage.
The same applies to Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) in Virginia. See Virginia Code §38.2-2206(B). This form of coverage is specicially accessible if you are hit by a driver with no insurance or are the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Get More Info
To get more information about accessing all of the available forms of auto insurance for your claim, check out this article.