Coverage Is Complicated. We Can Help.
Whether you are getting ready to purchase or to renew your car insurance policy, or if you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to know what coverage you actually have purchased and whether it fits your needs. Although your auto insurance agent may tell you that you have “full coverage,” your understanding of what “full coverage” means may be very different than your actual policy.
We at Worth, Magee & Fisher, P.C., urge you to examine your automobile insurance policy, using this information as a guideline, with the hope that the information we provide will help you to understand your policy and will help you to decide if the coverage you have is what you need. Please keep in mind that the information below is offered merely as a guide and is for your general information. Be sure to contact your insurance agent to discuss your insurance needs, and contact our office if you have any questions.
How Does Coverage Work In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law requires that all registered motor vehicles have a minimum amount of insurance, and it also requires all insurance companies to make available, although at an increased premium, various other types of coverages. By looking at your insurance premium notice, you can determine the types and amounts of coverage you have. Below we detail various types of coverage. Compare them to your premium notice.
Mandatory coverage includes liability and medical benefits. Your policy must include these coverages, but you can customize your policy as noted.
- Liability coverage is designed to compensate anyone who is injured in a car accident that is your fault. In Pennsylvania, each car must have at least $15,000 in coverage, and you may purchase additional coverage up to $300,000.
- Medical benefits will pay medical bills for any treatment, including medications, required as a result of injuries you receive in a car accident, regardless of who may be responsible for the accident. Your insurer has to pay medical bills you incur as a result of any car accident, even if the accident was not your fault. Although this may seem unfair, that is the way Pennsylvania law is set up.
- Limited tort vs. full tort is a very important choice you must make. If you select the “limited tort” option, you cannot file a claim for your pain and suffering unless you have a “serious injury.” Although the “full tort” option costs more than the “limited tort,” we strongly recommend you purchase it. As with all of our recommendations, please consult your auto insurance agent to make sure you are making the proper choice for your personal situation.
Optional coverage includes income loss benefits, uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and a number of other available benefits. These benefits are not mandatory but can be used to further customize your policy to meet your personal needs.
- Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage is important because it protects you and your family if you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver who either has no insurance or not enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries. For that reason, we highly recommend this coverage.
- Stacking v. nonstacking refers to how much UM/UIM coverage will be available under your policy. The simplest example is that if you have more than one car on your policy, you can choose to “stack” the UM/UIM coverage, and that means that whatever amount of UM/UIM coverage you have available on the policy will be multiplied by the number of cars you have on the policy. We urge you to consult with your own insurance agent to determine your own insurance needs.
- Income loss benefits reimburse you for wages lost as a result of injuries received in a car accident and are available at various levels, with maximums up to $2,500 per month and a total of $50,000. Like medical benefits, if you purchase this coverage, your company pays this to you regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
- Other available benefits include an accidental death benefit of at least $25,000. Funeral benefits of at least $2,500 are also available. Property damage benefits pay for property damage suffered by others as a result of a car accident that was your fault. Collision benefits pay for damage to your vehicle when it is involved in an auto accident regardless of the fault. Also available is comprehensive coverage, which will pay for damages caused by something other than an accident, including vandalism and sleet and hail damage.
Get A Lawyer’s Help With Your Coverage
If you are in an accident and find that your coverage is inadequate, it will be too late to adjust your policy. To make sure that you know what is in your coverage and how it may affect you after the accident, contact Worth, Magee & Fisher, P.C. We offer free consultations in many cases. To schedule, call 610-674-0505, toll-free at 866-490-5954 or send the firm an email.