The laws in Pennsylvania have changed dramatically in recent years and the insurance coverage you choose will drastically affect whether you and your family are protected in the event of an auto accident. Our clients often say they are “fully covered” for accidents.
Too often, they find out later they are not protected. It is up to you to make the right choices about insurance coverage. The best way for you to make these choices is to understand exactly what you are buying and whether you need it.
Every insurance policy comes with a “Declaration Sheet” that lists the coverage you have. This usually is one or two pages with individual typewritten (not pre-printed) information. It is a kind of laundry list that tells you: (1) the specific kinds of coverage you have; (2) the amount of each kind of coverage; and (3) the cost (premium) of each coverage for each vehicle on the policy. You need to understand this “Declaration Sheet” and know the coverage options it sets out. Although an insurance agent sometimes can offer useful information, you are the one who makes the ultimate decisions about the coverage that is important to you.
The best way to understand insurance coverages is to think of your insurance policy as a large chest of drawers. Each drawer represents a type of coverage. There are certain coverages that are required in Pennsylvania and those that are not required. You have the: Liability (Bodily Injury) Drawer; Underinsured Motorist Drawer; Property Damage Drawer; and so on. You must decide how much coverage you need and can afford for each drawer. Just because one drawer has a lot of coverage does not mean that they all do. Likewise, there may be drawers that have coverage you do not want or need. Keep in mind that you pay for every drawer that has something in it. You will see on your Declaration Sheet that there is a separate charge (premium) for each coverage. These all are added up at the bottom for a total annual (or six month) premium. Below are the different drawers (coverages) you’ll find on most insurance policies.
The confusion of insurance policies and coverages has made automobile accident law a full time study. Accident victims need to speak with a lawyer. As experienced Philadelphia auto accident lawyers, we know how to evaluate accident cases, protect a victim’s legal rights, and negotiate full compensation from insurance companies. If you, a friend, or family member are injured in an auto accident, call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792). We can help.