The truth is, many people are misinformed about what it means to be covered by an auto insurance policy. It’s understandably so, especially in today’s day and age, because of how complicated buying auto insurance has become.
Basics of Insurance Coverage
Most states, including Washington State, require that drivers purchase liability insurance before operating a motor vehicle on the roadways. In these states, it is absolutely illegal to drive a car without being protected by some form of auto liability insurance in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
There are a number of reasons for this. From a common-sense standpoint, it makes things simpler. If all drivers are financially protected in the event of an auto accident or other type of collision, then nobody is unnecessarily being put at risk of having a financial catastrophe on their hands due to lack of coverage.
But more importantly, basic forms of auto liability insurance protect drivers in the event that they cause property damage or personal injury to another person or entity. If I were to cause an auto accident and injured another person, my Bodily Injury (BI) liability coverage would provide financial relief to the person who I am responsible for injuring. The same goes for property damage coverage, which is another component of the mandatory insurance coverage in Washington State. BI coverage is mandatory in Washington State, so if you have auto insurance you have BI coverage.
Additional Types of Coverage
This is where the conversation gets more complicated. A number of additional features can be added on to your insurance policy, but thesee features cost money.
How do you know which types of coverage are necessary or beneficial to add on to your policy?
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of coverage that covers you and your passengers in the event that you are injured in an auto accident. While the at-fault driver could potentially provide BI protection for injured victims of a crash, you never know how much coverage an at-fault driver would be able to provide for you and purchasing PIP ensures your own safety. Washington State law requires companies to include this in policies automatically, but it may be waived by the customer.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage provides accident victims with coverage in the event that the at-fault driver is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance coverage for the victims of the accident. If a victim is seriously injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist and the victim does not have UM/UIM coverage, they may not have any viable means of recovery for their injuries, medical bills and lost wages.
Seattle Accident Lawyers
We hope this helps debunk some of the myths that people have heard about auto insurance coverage. For those of you interested in learning more about car accidents and personal injury laws in Washington State, head on over to www.WashingtonAccidentBooks.com to request a free legal guide packed with relevant information for injury victims.