How to Understand Your Auto Insurance Policy

by Staff | October 19th, 2020

To legally drive a car in Indiana, you must purchase and maintain auto insurance. This insurance is designed to cover any injuries or property damage you might cause others to incur while you’re driving.

The amount of insurance coverage you need to purchase to legally drive is:

  • $25,000 per injured person
  • $50,000 maximum injury coverage per accident
  • $10,000 property damage

Please note that if the amount of coverage you purchase doesn’t pay for all the expenses incurred by the other driver and their passengers if you are determined to be liable for the accident, you may have to pay the rest out of pocket. That’s why it’s important to buy as much coverage as you can afford.

Coverage to Protect Yourself After a Crash

When you purchase auto insurance in Indiana, you automatically get uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is designed to provide compensation for any medical bills incurred by you or your passengers, as well as property damage costs, if the driver who caused the crash is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the costs.

While uninsured/underinsured coverage isn’t mandatory and can be opted out of in writing when you purchase a plan, we highly recommend keeping this coverage active at all times. Indiana ranks in the top 10 for most uninsured drivers in the U.S., and around 17 percent of motorists in the Hoosier State aren’t driving legally due to lack of coverage.

If one of those drivers causes an accident that injures you and they don’t have the cash on hand to compensate you, you may be left footing the bill for your own crash-related expenses.

Medical Payments Coverage Adds Another Layer of Security

When you purchased your auto insurance, you may have been offered or sold an additional layer of protection called medical payments coverage. Like personal injury protection in other states, medical payments coverage is an optional form of insurance that will help you pay for your medical expenses after a crash, regardless of who was at fault.

This coverage can range from $1,000 to $10,000, with plans being priced accordingly. If you purchase medical payments coverage, it’s important to submit your bills to your auto insurance provider first before reporting them to your health insurer. That’s because your health insurance may demand to be reimbursed if you get benefits from another policy after they pay some of your bills.

Is Your Vehicle Covered? Your Policy Will Tell You.

If you have minimum coverage, which simply covers injuries to others and property damage to their vehicles, then your own vehicle probably isn’t covered at all by your policy. However, you can add two additional types of coverage to your plan:

  • Collision insurance—This insurance is designed to help pay for repairs to your vehicle after a crash. It’s essential to purchase this type of coverage if you drive an expensive or new car, and it’s required if you lease a vehicle.
  • Comprehensive insurance—This insurance is designed to protect your vehicle after just about any disaster scenario, including flood damage, fire damage, hail damage, theft, vandalism, and more.

These types of insurance are typically bundled together, making it easier to purchase them and get peace of mind.

Are the Premiums Worth It?

Many people want to pay as little as possible to meet the insurance standards to legally drive in Indiana. But doing so puts you at serious risk of being in a financial bind after a crash. If you cause an accident, you may be called to pay out of pocket for the other driver’s expenses. And if you’re hurt in a crash caused by someone else and the other driver doesn’t have insurance or money, you also may have to pay out of pocket for your own expenses.

Although we battle insurance companies daily, we still recommend buying as much coverage as you can afford. It’s better to have coverage that protects you, your family, and your finances, and fight the insurance company to do the right thing, than to not have any coverage at all and be left with no recourse.

We’re Here to Help After a Crash

Insurance companies are notoriously unhelpful and uncooperative when you file a claim. But that’s where we come in. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Indiana car accident lawyers work hard to help injured victims get full compensation after crashes. We make insurance companies live up to their promises, and we don’t take no for an answer. Call today for a free consultation.

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