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I regularly talk with people about their car insurance. And unfortunately, that conversation often happens AFTER they’ve been in an accident. The time for this conversation is BEFORE you are involved in an accident. If you take an in-depth look at your car insurance before you need it, you will be better protected if the worst happens.
What Your Coverage Means
A common obstacle to proper coverage is understanding what coverage means. When I ask people how much coverage they have, the most common answer is “full coverage.” Full coverage refers to insurance on the value of the VEHICLE, not the PEOPLE in your car. I know I care a lot more about the people in my car than the car itself, and I'm sure you do too! Make sure you know more about your coverage whether it is full or limited liability coverage.
Protect What Matters
It is important to know what kinds of insurance you have to protect what really matters: your family, your friends, and yourself. Understanding your coverage is an important step in protecting what matters most. That way if the worst does happen, at least there is sufficient insurance coverage to make sure you can get the medical treatment and recovery for any injuries.
Minimum Car insurance Coverage in Kentucky
Kentucky has set a minimum amount of coverage for injuries you are required to carry, set by Kentucky Revised Statute 304.39-110. Kentucky’s minimum insurance for bodily injury is $25,000 per occupant in the car... BUT it is capped at $50,000 for all occupants in the vehicle.
This would mean that the total amount to be recovered through insurance in the case of an accident would be $50,000 -- split between all the riders in the car. When you consider the cost of health care, ambulances, and hospitalizations (which increase every year) this is not a lot of coverage.
We strongly recommend you have more than the Kentucky state minimum guidelines for insurance coverage.
Increasing Policy Limits
So, how much insurance do you need? The amount of insurance coverage you need is different for each person.
Think about what it would cost if you were severely injured in an accident. What would you need to make sure you could get your treatment and recover after your accident?
Then talk with your insurance company or broker about increasing the limits on your car insurance to provide that.
Uninsured VS Underinsured
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
Uninsured motorist coverage comes into play when you are hurt by someone that doesn’t have car insurance. Many people don’t realize you need an additional policy for this type of situation. We strongly recommend you have some type of UM coverage. There are unfortunately a lot of drivers on the road that don’t have insurance at all, and if you are hit by one you could be left in a terrible situation if you don’t have the proper insurance.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) provides protection if you are injured in an auto accident by someone who has insurance coverage that is insufficient to cover the cost of your losses, such as minimum coverage. It is easy to think that the other driver’s insurance should cover all the damages, but what if they only have minimum insurance? With modern medicine $25,000 does not usually cover a single overnight stay in the hospital or an ambulance ride. That is where UIM comes in to fill the gap when the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage.
The Unfortunate Truth
If there is not enough insurance to cover the costs and recovery from an auto accident the choice you have to make is taking what is there to get in insurance or trying to personally sue the at-fault driver. In reality, what it means is there is not enough insurance to really compensate for the injuries.
I have had many cases where someone was severely injured and their recovery was limited because there wasn’t sufficient insurance to cover the full cost of their injuries. I want to make sure my clients get made whole after they are hurt, but if the insurance coverage isn’t there you have limited options and none of them are good.
An Injury Lawyer’s Take On Insurance
It is so so important to understand what kind of and how much insurance you have BEFORE you need it. Often the cost of increasing coverage limits or adding UM or UIM to a policy is inexpensive and can make a huge impact if you are seriously hurt in a car accident.