My oldest son likes to send me texts asking questions about car accidents and how insurance works. I have finally trained him to start these questions off with, "This isn't about me..." because we can all imagine that fear of the late-night text, "whose insurance pays when rear-ended?" In his 5+ years of driving, I have answered a lot of questions for his friends and I would rather that they have an experienced person to give them the answers rather than just googling an article by a random person. I'm not saying that Insurance Agents are Heart Surgeons, but would you let someone operate on you that watched a YouTube video? No. That is why it is best to always turn to the experts. Let's look at an example on what to do since that is always the best way to learn.
Molly is driving her brand-new car down John Sims Pkwy to a Niceville High School football game. While stopped at a traffic light, Zoey is responding to a text and ends up hitting the back of Molly's car, causing $700 worth of damage.
Example #1 - No one is hurt and they both have auto insurance.
Molly is going to contact Zoey’s insurance company and file a claim to have her vehicle repaired and a rental car as a replacement while hers is in the shop.
Example #2 – Molly’s neck hurts and they both have auto insurance.
Molly is going to contact Zoey’s insurance company and file a claim for damages on the car BUT will contact her own company to file her injury under Personal Injury Protection (which pays regardless of fault up to $10,000).
Example #3 – Molly’s neck hurts, she has a broken leg from the impact requiring surgery AND Zoey has insurance.
Molly files for damages to her car under Zoey’s policy. She files for her injuries under her auto policy for the PIP for the first $10,000. Zoey’s Bodily Injury coverage picks up after that.
Example #4 – Molly’s neck hurts, she has a broken leg from the impact requiring surgery, BUT Zoey DOES NOT HAVE insurance.
Molly will file under her auto policy for her injury AND damage to her car. We are going to assume that since her car is brand new, she has Collision coverage. Remember that she only has $700 worth of damage so if her deductible is $500, the insurance company is only paying $200. Can she have a rental car? Only if she chose that option on her own policy. Since the PIP will pay the first $10,000 and we know that this is going to be expensive since surgery is involved, there can be additional coverage with Uninsured Motorists, but only up to policy limits.
What happens if Molly does not have Uninsured Motorists Coverage?
Well, hopefully, she has health insurance but then she still has to worry about the deductible not to mention loss of wages…
Let’s look at the moral of this story and what did we learn? First of all, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN WHILE DRIVING. Also, trust the experts when it comes to insurance. We want to make sure that you have the coverage that you need should an accident happen.
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