Do you fully understand your car insurance policy? Would you be covered in the event of an accident? In Part I of our two part series, we began our look at some vital facts all drivers should be aware of concerning their car insurance. In Part II, we continue our list with the hopes that after reading, you will re-examine your insurance policy to make sure it protects you and your family.
- Drivers you live with are not covered—this is an important caveat that many insurance holders are not aware of, and can come at significant costs. If you loan your vehicle to a relative or friend and they are in an accident, your insurance will generally cover the collision just as it would if you were the driver. However, if you loan that same vehicle to a relative or friend who resides in your household but is not included on the insurance policy, your insurance will not cover damages or injuries that arise in an accident involving that driver. You must declare anyone living with you to the insurance company and either elect to add them to the policy or exclude them, and not allow them to drive the vehicle. This policy exists to prevent safe drivers from essentially obtaining car insurance policies for risky drivers that they live with. Accordingly, the insurance companies will only provide coverage for drivers listed on the policy and those that live outside the home and borrow the vehicle.
- Uninsured motorist coverage is extremely important—in the event you are in an accident with a motorist who lacks car insurance, uninsured motorist coverage will prove vital. Many states require automobile insurance companies to offer you uninsured motorist coverage, but providers do not tell you how high-risk your state is. Nationally, an alarming one in seven motorists lack car insurance. In Kansas, 10% of all drivers lack insurance coverage. Spare yourself the heartache of unpaid medical bills and property damage; call your insurer to make sure you have a sizable uninsured motorist policy in place.
- Your credit score will impact your rates—in Kansas, as in all states except Hawaii and California, your credit will be a major factor in determining your insurance rates. Better credit equates to better rates. Other variable factors include: gender, age, marital status, frequency of use of the vehicle, length of time driving, accident history, and safety features of the car, such as anti-lock brakes or airbags.
- Minimum liability varies greatly by state—states have the right to set their own minimum liability requirements, and these values can range drastically. In Kansas, drivers must carry at least $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury, and $10,000 for property damage. Drivers must also carry personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Know your states minimums and be sure to obtain at least the minimums within 15 days of establishing residency.
- You may need specialized coverage—if you have a specialized ride, such as a motorcycle, collector car, or mobile home, you will likely require a specialized insurance policy. Motorcycle policies generally have their own minimums.
Contact Kansas City Automobile Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in car accident, Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas Automobile Accident Attorney with more than 27 years of experience helping his clients receive the compensation they deserve. Car accidents can lead to serious injuries or even death. Victims can require months of time away from work and medical treatment. For the victims of car accidents, medical expenses will quickly mount and accident victims should act fast to preserve their legal rights. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential car accident case, contact Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.