Car insurance is an expense so there is a temptation to skip it or to ask: do I really need car insurance? Truthfully, most people with a driver’s license should carry car insurance, even if you don’t own a vehicle. Carrying car insurance is the law in Washington State if you drive a vehicle.
But I Don’t Own a Car…Do I really Need Car Insurance?
If you are a licensed driver without a vehicle you should still strongly consider carrying car insurance for the following reasons:Read More
Washington has a mandatory liability car insurance law to ensure that if you are involved in an accident that is your fault you can help pay for personal injuries and property damage.
Washington State’s Mandatory Liability Insurance must include:
Minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for injuries or death per person
- $50,000 total for injuries or death per accident
- $10,000 for property damage
Car insurance scams by individual policy holders against their insurance provider have been around since insurance was invented but over the years insurance providers have gotten better at recognizing scams and catching the perpetrators. According to insurance fraud experts, insurance scams are the second highest financial crime in the United States. Additionally, more than 20 percent of personal injury claims and 10 percent of car wreck claims are from bogus or staged accidents.
Most people dread getting into a car accident; dealing with a wrecked car, haggling with your insurance company and personal injuries are no fun. The scary thing is that some car accidents are actually planned in order to pull off a car insurance scam. Innocent drivers end up paying the price both in higher premiums of $200-$300 per year, blemished driving records, personal injuries, and the hassles of repairing or replacing their car.
Top 5 Car Insurance ScamsRead More
A car is “totaled” when you have been in a car accident that caused more damage to the car than it is worth or is so badly mangled that it isn’t repairable. Your car insurance provider will owe you the cash value/retail market value of your car. An appraisal of the value of your car will be made by referencing independent auto-value guides such as Kelley Blue Book and NADA.
Once the value of the car has been established your car insurer may choose to:
- Replace the car with a comparable car for sale in your area, increasing the search in 25 mile increments if one is not found close by.
- Offer a cash settlement
In Washington State, we are required to purchase car insurance before driving our motor vehicle. If you are stopped by law enforcement, they will ask for your insurance and if you cannot produce it you can expect a fine of at least $450. About 10 percent of the population chooses to go without car insurance, which makes it especially important for you to be well covered. There are, however, many levels and brands of car insurance from which to choose. How do you decide if you have the right level of protection for you and your vehicle?
Top 2 Things to Know When Choosing Car Insurance
1. Understanding the Value of Coverage
In Washington State, we are required to have full coverage as long as there is a loan on our vehicle but it may make sense to continue this coverage even after you own the car outright. Your insurance agent should be able to help you decide the right coverage for you. A full coverage policy may ensure that you receive compensation for damages and injuries in the event that you are in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, provide a rental car while your car is being repaired, pay for medical care to heal from an injury, pay for body-work, provide liability coverage in case you are sued, and so much more.
2. Liability Coverage is Important
Many insurers recommend carrying $1,000,000 in liability coverage as part of your car insurance policy in the event that you are sued for damages in an accident deemed your fault. Even a small car accident could result in a claim worth upwards of $30,000 and you don’t want to be stuck paying out of pocket.
Liability coverage can also come back to you if you are not at fault in a car accident. For example, if you are injured in a car accident and incur medical bills and lost wages due to time off of work then you will sue the other driver’s car insurance for damages. If their policy only covers $15,000 and you are suing for more then you could cover the difference through your own policy. The bottom line is you should consider the value of your vehicle and other assets and purchase the largest amount you can afford.
Check your Car Insurance Policy for the Details
It is best to know exactly where you stand when it comes to your car insurance coverage. Your insurance company should be happy to go over the details with you and make sure that you are comfortable with the levels of coverage. Request a copy of your declaration page and make sure that your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is equal to your liability limits. Increase you coverage limits to $1,000,000 or as high as you can afford to. You will need to be proactive! If you are not satisfied with what you current company is offering shop around and get a side by side comparison to be sure you are getting the best value for your money.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation!Read More