Bodily Injury Insurance Coverage

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If you are involved in a automobile accident in Texas where you or a family member is injured, there are multiple insurance coverages that may affect your claim. Frequently people think they have "full coverage", but "full coverage" isn't always found.

If you have the misfortune to be in an auto accident, hopefully the at fault driver has bodily injury liability coverage. This is the coverage that comes into play if you are injured by an at fault driver. If the other driver is breaking the law and does not have bodily injury liability coverage, you can sue that driver, but collection may be difficult at best even if you go to Court and get a Judgment against the driver. To protect you, uninsured motorist coverage is available when you get an insurance policy. It is my opinion that carrying uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is the way to go with your auto insurance.

Underinsured insurance coverage also protects you. This insurance coverage comes into play if your damages that you sustain as the result of an at fault driver exceed his/her bodily injury policy limit. Then you can look to your underinsured coverage that you obtained to provide benefits when the other driver's policy limits are exhausted. Your insurance policy may have some important steps that you need to comply with when considering an underinsured claim, so legal advice is important to protect your potential underinsured motorist claim.

What are policy limits? Policy limits are very important in determining the amount of recovery that the at fault driver's insurance policy may pay on your claim if the damages warrant the recovery. In Texas, minimum limits currently are 30/60 for bodily injury liability coverage. So what does this mean? In the vast majority of cases, the insurance carrier will not pay more than the policy limit on a claim. A 30/60 policy will pay a maximum of $30,000.00 per person in an accident and $60,000.00 to all claimants in an accident if more that one person has a bodily injury claim against their insured. For example, if you have severe injuries, and there is minimum coverage, a carrier may offer the policy limit. If you have underinsured coverage, then that coverage may come into play. If multiple people have severe injuries, the at fault driver's carrier may be limited to paying the maximum bodily injury limit for the accident.

Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) and MedPay may also be coverages that you bought or the driver of the vehicle that you were occupying bought. These coverages are different, but medical bills and lost wages may be covered in part by these coverages. I always suggest PIP coverage because of the different recovery rights involved in these coverages.

Of course, it goes without saying that you need coverage to abide by the law and to protect yourself before the event happens! If you don't have uninsured coverage, underinsured coverage, PIP or MedPay coverage and get in an accident and call up your agent to try to get coverage for something that has already happened it probably won't get you very far!

Another suggestion that I recommend to my clients is to check with their insurance agent to find out how much it will cost to raise their coverages from minimum coverage to higher limits. Most carriers will offer coverages of 50/100 or 100/300 and you might be surprised that it may not cost much more to significantly increase your limits. The uninsured coverage/underinsured coverage will be very important to have if you get involved in a significant accident and the at fault driver has no coverage or minimal limits.