The use of this form for communication with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Auto Insurance

Filled under Auto Accidents, Insurance Claims on September 15, 2010 - no comments.

How Arizona Auto Insurance Provides Coverage for the Injured

Liability coverage – Bodily injury liability coverage protects your assets and income from a lawsuit or legal claim in the event you cause injury to some other person. When you are at fault for an accident, your insurance company will be obligated to pay for the other person’s injuries and damages, up to the limit of coverage you purchased. Any amount above that will be your personal responsibility. Arizona state law requires that any vehicle driven on the road be covered by a liability policy with minimum coverage of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per collision. In other words, with the minimum coverage, your insurance company will pay up to $15,000 for each injury claim, but not more than $30,000 for all claims combined from a single accident. The amount of coverage you should have depends on your individual circumstances, but generally for your legal protection, it is recommended that you carry at least $100,000 per person, $300,000 per collision.

You May Be Covered Under Arizona Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage if You’re Injured

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) – If you are injured by a driver who does not have any liability insurance coverage (or an unidentified driver), your uninsured motorist coverage (UM) comes into play. Your insurer will be liable to you for the value of your injuries and damages, up to the limit of coverage that you selected.

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) – If you are injured by the fault of another driver who is insured, but does not have sufficient coverage to compensate you for your injuries and damages, your underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) comes into play. Your insurer will be liable to you for the difference between the value of your injuries and the amount of the other driver’s liability insurance coverage, up to the limit of coverage that you selected.

In Arizona, your UM and UIM coverage will each equal the amount of your liability coverage, unless you sign a document waiving or reducing that coverage. These are very important coverages for your protection, since there are so many drivers in Arizona that are uninsured and underinsured. For your legal protection, we recommend that you carry UM and UIM coverage in the amounts recommended above for liability coverage. UM and UIM coverage are portable. In other words, if a person is walking across a street and is injured or killed by an uninsured driver or underinsured driver who has run a red light, the pedestrian’s UM or UIM coverage will apply, despite the fact the pedestrian was not inside a vehicle when struck. Similarly, if a person is on a bicycle or in another individual’s car when struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver, his/her UM/UIM coverage will apply to this situation as well.

Medical payments coverage (Med-Pay) – Typically, when you, anyone in your household, or any passenger in your vehicle, is injured in an automobile accident, no matter who is at fault, this coverage will pay all reasonable and necessary medical bills incurred by that person with a doctor or healthcare provider of their choice, up to the coverage limit selected. This coverage often pays for treatment not covered by health insurance plans, and covers chiropractic and other non-traditional treatment as well. If you are not at fault for an accident, this coverage is in addition to what you collect from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

NOTE: Your Uninsured, Underinsured, and Med-Pay coverage is “portable”, meaning that even if you are not in your own car at the time you are injured, the insurance still applies.

How Other Types of Arizona Insurance Coverage May Provide Compensation

Property Damage Liability – Pays for damage you cause to someone else’s vehicle as the result of your fault. Like bodily injury liability coverage, this coverage protects your assets and income from a lawsuit or legal claim in the event you cause damage to another’s property. Your insurance company will be obligated to pay for the other person’s property damage, up to the limit of coverage you purchased. The minimum amount required by law is $10,000. We recommend at least $50,000.

Comprehensive – Pays for damage caused by anything other than a collision (e.g., hail, vandalism), or for theft of your motor vehicle. A general rule of thumb is that you must carry comprehensive and collision coverage if you are still making car payments. If your vehicle is paid off, then the coverage is discretionary; however, you should have this coverage, and Collision coverage, if your vehicle has significant value.

Collision – Pays for damage to your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident with another vehicle, regardless of fault. This coverage and Comprehensive will usually be subject to a deductible amount that you select.

Towing – Provides coverage for the cost of towing your vehicle in situations of breakdown or automobile accident. This is similar to protection you may have through a motor club; however, it is often less expensive through your auto insurance carrier.

Car Rental – Provides for an amount to be paid toward a rental car for a specific number of days, if your vehicle is damaged and undriveable, or is in a body shop for repair, due to a motor vehicle accident. It is recommended that you obtain at least $25 per day coverage. If you are in need of a vehicle larger than a compact, then you should increase your rental car coverage to a minimum of $40 per day. Rental car coverage may also provide for a maximum total payout. Please be sure to contract for a large enough total payout to cover a minimum of a 30-day repair time.

Gap – Pays the difference on your auto loan between the total loss fair market value of your vehicle and the total amount that you still owe on your auto loan. The difference between what you owe and what your car is worth is considered the gap referred to in this coverage.