Personal Injury Insurance Explained
When you have a car accident, insurance can help to pay for injuries to people as well as damage to vehicles and other property. With this in mind, personal injury insurance can be an important part of your automobile insurance package and can help defray the cost of hospital bills and other expenses associated with an accident.
Personal Injury Insurance Defined
Personal injury insurance is a type of insurance that may be a part of a larger personal insurance plan or may be purchased separately. This type of insurance covers the medical and hospital expenses of the insured, his or her passengers, and any pedestrians struck in the event of an accident. The major benefit of this kind of insurance is that it is no-fault insurance. This means that the insured is covered even if the accident was his or her fault. It is also called no-fault because the insured's premiums should not go up in the event of a personal injury claim.
People Covered by the Policy
Personal injury insurance is not available in all areas. State regulations limit the amount of coverage available, the individuals covered, and what kinds of expenses it can be used to pay for. The policyholder, the policyholder's relatives in the same household, passengers, and other authorized drivers are usually covered. In some states, the policyholder and family members are also covered if they are riding in someone else's car or if they are struck by another car while a pedestrian.
People Who Can Benefit
Anyone can benefit from the addition of personal injury insurance coverage, but there are a few groups for whom it is much more urgent. First, some states in the US require drivers to have personal injury insurance as a part of their required car insurance packages. In these cases, drivers legally must have a least a minimum-coverage plan. Second, drivers who commute on a daily basis should look into this insurance, especially if they have dependents that rely on their income. Finally, drivers who frequently carry unrelated passengers should have personal injury insurance to cover injury to those passengers.
How to Get Coverage
It is possible to add personal injury insurance to your existing coverage by contacting you insurance carrier. You can also purchase it as an independent additional coverage. However, before investing in this kind of protection, you and your insurance agent should take a look at your existing policies and make sure that it does not duplicate coverage you already have under other insurance plans. Some health insurance plans cover personal injury, but usually not to passengers in your car.
Personal injury insurance costs can vary significantly from state to state and provider to provider, so it's important to research costs and benefits thoroughly. Some factors to consider are whether losing your income would adversely affect you or your family, how much of your time you spend commuting, and whether you carry passengers who do not have coverage in your car. Your driving record will have an impact on the cost, as will the amount of coverage you elect to carry. Because of the number of factors involved, it is important to get professional advice.