Types of Insurance

There are six basic categories of automobile insurance coverage:

1.  Liability Coverage

As the name suggests, this coverage pays damages to injured persons when the accident is your fault. A liability policy requires the insurance carrier to do two things: hire a lawyer to represent you if necessary; and pay up to the policy limit either in settlement or as a result of verdict at trial. Because you are personally responsible for the payment of any judgement in excess of your liability coverage limits, you should buy coverage with limits that are high enough to cover claims arising from a serious accident. Liability policies usually have two coverage limits: per person and per accident. It is also sold in a form called single limit coverage, which I believe is a far better bargain.

2.  Collision Coverage

This coverage pays for the damage to your car when the accident is your fault.

Premiums are based on the value of your car, the cost of repairing that particular make and model, and your driving record. If your vehicle is financed, the bank will almost always require collision coverage.

3.  Comprehensive Coverage

This coverage pays for theft, vandalism, and damage that your car may sustain as a result of fire, hailstorms and other natural disasters. It too is usually required by any lender that finances the purchase of your car.

4.  Medical Payments Coverage, also known as Medical Expense Coverage

Insurers in Virginia are required to offer medical payments coverage with their motor vehicle policies. It covers the usual and customary cost of accident-related medical treatment for any occupant of the car injured in an accident for a period of three years after the date of the accident. It pays up to the coverage amount without regard to who was at fault and without regard to any health insurance or other coverage you may have. It can be purchased in varying amounts. Most folks have coverage between$2,000 and $5,000.

5.   Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This coverage is mandatory in Virginia and every insurance company is required by law to offer it to you in amounts equal to your liability coverage. It covers you if the person at fault has no insurance (uninsured coverage) or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages (underinsured coverage). You can appreciate the importance of this type of coverage when you consider the number of people who carry the minimum coverage required by law.

6.  Umbrella Coverage

As the name suggests this coverage is in addition to your other coverages and is only used when the other coverages have been exhausted. It is surprisingly inexpensive and provides protection for automobile liability claims as well as other non-automobile related claims.

If you need an insurance claim attorney in Leesburg or Loudoun County, contact The Law Offices of Thomas J. Robl, P.C. today.