My new client Karen said to me, “I have FULL coverage so I should be OK.” I had asked her as part of the initial case evaluation “what insurance do you have?” Upon hearing her answer, I smiled. But not because I thought she had the coverage she needed. For twenty-five years I’ve heard a similar answer to the question. People want to believe that their insurance agent has sold them everything they need to be covered in the event of an accident injury. It frequently is not so.
Insurance is like a set of painter pants – you know, the pants with lots of pockets. Each pocket has an amount of money in it, but the money can only be used for specific purposes. If you had “full” coverage, I suppose, each of those pockets would be chock full of cash. That is probably not what you bought. We go into more detail about the basics of the type of auto insurance coverage you can by in other post. insurance coverage in other posts
In Idaho, the law requires that you carry at least $25,000 of “liability” coverage. This is money to pay for the injuries that happen when a wreck is your fault. This insures the other guy. But that is only one pocket.
Another pocket may have an amount of money to pay medical expenses for the people in your car. This coverage is called MedPay. If you truly had “full” coverage, you would have some amount of MedPay coverage. Sometimes, though, agents only sell you a small amount of MedPay coverage – like $1,000. As people too frequently learn, $1,000 doesn’t even pay for an ambulance ride and an emergency room visit. If your agent only gave you a small amount of MedPay, your coverage is not very “full”.
Check your pockets – if you don’t have a wad of bills in the one called UM/UIM, your coverage is NOT full.
UnderInsured Motorist coverage protects you and the people in your car (aren’t those generally people you care about?) when you’re injured and the bad driver doesn’t have very much insurance. If you bought enough of this coverage, you have cash in your pocket in excess to what the bad driver had. I say “enough” of this coverage because some insurance company’s sell this product in $25,000 amounts which offset against the bad driver’s insurance. This leaves you with NO Underinsured coverage. Check your limits and get them raised to protect you and the loved ones riding in your car.
Uninsured Motorist coverage protects people in your car if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. You need this coverage to have any hope of being taken care of when that irresponsible person runs you over. Remember when purchasing that this coverage protects you and your family/friends in your car. Buy more rather than less.
Your coverage is only “full” when it is purchased in amounts that are ultimately available to help you. Review your policy and make sure that your agent gave you enough coverage to make your “full” coverage really “full”. We are happy to discuss your auto coverage with you.