Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy

Host:     

Well, good morning everybody. We are back out at the office of Injury Florida Law Firm with the lovely Katherine Stone. Congratulations again on approaching your one-year anniversary.

Katherine:      

Yeah, it’s my home away from home. When you walked in, I said, “Oh, welcome to my home,” but it is my home. I’m here probably more than I am my own personal house.

Host:        

That is because this is your passion, and helping clients is your passion. That’s why you’re a part of our show, and educating I think is something that you’re very passionate about as well.

Host:    

What we’re going to focus on this morning is auto accidents and understanding, which I think we’re all guilty of this sometimes, our actual policy that we have when it comes to insurance. It’s lingo that a lot of times we don’t understand. We just kind of, I’m assuming, accept, “Oh, I’ll take that, because it seems like a good deal.”

Katherine:       

This day and age with being able to purchase your insurance without have to actually go to an insurance office and sit down with an agent who can answer all of your questions, a lot of times and more and more I find clients when I’m going through their policy with them after they’ve had an accident, going through what benefits they have, they’ll tell me, “Oh, well I just purchased this off the internet.” And they don’t really know what kind of coverage they have gotten.

Katherine:      

It’s so very important to just stop what you’re doing the next time you take a break, pick up your insurance policy. If you don’t have a copy of it, you should reach out to your insurance company and request a copy.

Katherine:    

Now, I’m not an insurance agent, but I do have to interpret and review insurance policies every time an auto accident walks in this door, because the first thing we do is we request the other driver’s insurance policy, and we request our own client’s insurance policy. That is the very first letter that goes out in this office after an auto accident. Because number one, we need to determine what coverage the at-fault driver who’s caused the accident has. Number one, do they have insurance in effect?

Katherine:         

Unfortunately, we have a lot of drivers out there who don’t have insurance, or they carry the base minimum, which is your personal injury protection, your PIP, which covers their medical bills. You likely also have PIP, because it’s required. It covers the individual policyholder’s first $10,000 in medical.

Katherine:         

The other thing that’s required by the state is $10,000 in property damage, which fixes the other person’s car. Doesn’t fix your car, fixes the other person’s car if that person has caused the accident. So that person who’s hit you may not have bodily injury coverage, so there’s no insurance to pay for your personal injuries.

Katherine:        

So then we turn and look at our own client’s policy. Does our client’s policy have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage that would cover you for bodily injuries in case that other driver doesn’t have coverage or they don’t have bodily injury coverage?

Katherine:        

We also look for comp and collision, because if that other driver didn’t have insurance in effect at the time, how are you going to get your car fixed? If you don’t have comp and collision, which is separate from property damage, you’re not going to be able to get your car fixed.

Katherine:       

Unfortunately here lately, I’ve had several clients who have been involved in accidents where the other driver didn’t have insurance for whatever reason. Their policies were null and void for not paying, number of reasons, and my clients didn’t have comp and collision. So there was really nothing I could do to help them, because I couldn’t help. They couldn’t get their vehicle fixed, and they didn’t have UM coverage on their policy, and the other driver didn’t have any coverage.

Katherine: 

It’s a difficult spot to be in, and oftentimes clients come in and they will tell me, “I have full coverage.” There’s no such thing as full coverage. You really just need to stop and look line by line and make sure you understand what you’re paying for and what you’re not paying for.

Host:        

Well as always, if anyone has any questions, maybe they’ve just been in an auto accident. They don’t know kind of what the next step is to do, you say what Katherine?

Katherine:   

We’re here to help

INJURY FLORIDA LAW FIRM, P.A.

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1-833-LAW-STONE

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