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Five Tips for Buying Car Insurance That Will Protect You from Personal Injury Claims

As personal injury attorneys in Washington, DC, we are in a great position to know exactly what types and amounts of insurance coverage you should have to protect you in case of a car accident or slip and fall accident at your home. In fact, we consult with our clients - for no charge - to review their insurance policies with them and advise them as to what types of coverage they need. If you would like a free review of your insurance, please call us and we would be happy to help you. In the meantime, here are five tips for buying car insurance that you can use immediately.

First, do not always buy the cheapest car insurance available. insurance companies often compete to offer the lowest price by reducing the coverage they offer. I have seen many people with substantial assets who have minimal or very low policies and are therefore at great risk if they have an accident. So, the first tip is to make sure that you purchase the correct amount of coverage, even as you look to save money.

Second, once you have the correct amount of coverage, the best way to save money is to raise your deductibles. That provides a way to reduce your premium without exposing you to a large claim. Instead, while you expose yourself to a small increase in the cost you will bear in the event of an accident and personal injury claim, you remain fully protected for the worst case scenario - an accident with serious personal injuries.

Third, if you drive an older vehicle, consider waiving collision coverage. That will save you money and, if you know that you will likely not replace the car if seriously damaged, that makes sense. However, many people do this to save money even when their vehicles are of a substantial value. The problem is that if the other driver does not have insurance, you will have no coverage to pay for your car to be repaired. That is why, as noted previously, this should only be done if your vehicle is so old or in such bad condition that you know you will not repair it if is in an accident.

Fourth, many states have forms of no-fault insurance coverage, such as Personal Injury Protection, Medical Expense Coverage, or Medical Payments coverage. Those coverages pay for medical treatment in the event of a bodily injury, but they often do not cover anything that is paid by health insurance (i.e., they pay only for co-pays, deductibles, and non-covered charges). Therefore, they can be of limited value and may be waived without significantly increasing exposure if you have health insurance. However, if someone does not have health insurance, then those coverages make more sense.

Fifth, and finally, an umbrella policy, which provides an additional $1 or $2 million in liability coverage - which is the coverage that protects you if you are at fault in an accident and cause serious personal injuries - is a great bargain for people with significant income or assets. They are “deep pockets” for people making claims and a wealthy person with limited insurance will likely be a target for an injured person or their attorney who have a large personal injury claim. Thus, if you have significant assets, protect them (and yourself) by obtaining adequate insurance.

These tips are what we have learned through years of representing injured people making personal injury claims. Again, please call us for a free consultation if you would like more information or have any questions.