|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM|
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING THE CORRECT TYPE OF AUTO INSURANCE
It is very important to select the right type of car insurance to adequately protect you and your legal interests. This blog is intended to share practical insight to some of the forms of car insurance that impact the outcomes of many auto accident claims.
Some forms of automobile insurance are mandatory and others are optional. Liability coverage (used to protect the driver of your vehicle if he/she is at fault in an accident) is a mandatory type of car insurance in South Carolina. Every vehicle in this state must be insured for at least $25,000 liability coverage. However, additional liability coverage is available for purchase at higher premiums. It is very important to have sufficient liability coverage to deal with injuries you may cause to your vehicle’s passengers; passengers of another vehicle; and property damage caused by your negligence. Serious injuries from auto collisions can easily exceed your basic 25k liability limit, leaving you personally exposed to expenses and damages beyond that limit. This could potentially result in personal financial ruin.
South Carolina also requires each vehicle policy contain Uninsured Motorist coverage. This coverage comes in play when you are involved in an accident with either an uninsured or unidentified (hit and run driver) motorist. It covers both bodily injuries and property damage. Please note that an Uninsured Motorist claim is typically made against YOUR insurance policy, and you must file the claim against YOUR insurance company. Therefore, you must proceed with extreme caution because your insurance company now becomes your adversary. As such you must deal with them in the manner you would have dealt with the at- fault driver’s insurance company if he/she was insured. Be aware of them requesting a recording statement or insisting you sign documents. Your insurance carrier practically steps into the shoes of the uninsured driver and will vigorously defend him/her against your claims for bodily injuries to your person and property damage to your car. While this may sound odd, it is the absolute undisputed truth.
While there are many optional forms of auto coverage, one very important form is Underinsured Motorist coverage. This is similar to the previously discussed Uninsured coverage but is also different in many ways. Underinsured coverage is not mandatory, but it can be critically important to you and your passengers if involved in a serious accident. This coverage applies when an at-fault driver has insurance but his coverage limit is not sufficient to satisfy the damages he caused to you, your passengers and your vehicle. Your Underinsured coverage (if purchased) on your vehicle will now kick in to cover (up to the limit you purchased) the amount of damages you and your passengers incurred that were not completely satisfied by the at-fault driver’s liability coverage. Remember, this coverage is optional but it must be offered by your insurance company and explained to you in clear and understandable language. Again, this type of claim is made against YOUR insurance carrier, and you should proceed with the same precautions as stated above.
Please feel free to contact Attorney Gerald A. Maree at (843) 549 7653 if you have any questions concerning automobile insurance coverage and how it applies to auto collision claims.