Hypothetically, you are driving home from work. You are thinking about your day and what you need to do that night. Just then, a car coming in the opposite direction comes into your lane and hits you head-on. Instantly your airbags deploy like a bomb going off in the interior of your car. You are critically injured and rushed by ambulance to the emergency room. You are severely injured and will need to spend weeks in the hospital. After you get out of the hospital, you have numerous doctors’ appointments. You can’t work. You are in consent pain and your life will never be the same.
Do you have enough auto insurance coverage to protect yourself and your family?
The minimum mandatory liability coverage in Colorado is $25,000.00. This means if the person who hit you only has minimum coverage, you can only receive $25,000.00 in insurance money from that person.
Do you have optional medpay coverage on your auto insurance policy? The other party who hit you is not liable to pay your health care costs while you are receiving treatment. They may have to pay for it at the end of the case if you have a settlement or judgment. Medpay is an optional coverage that pays for your auto-related medical treatment if you are involved in a car collision, whether you are responsible for the collision or not. The minimum amount of coverage is $5,000.00 with some insurance carriers offering up to $100,000.00 in medpay coverage.
Do you have uninsured/underinsured coverage (UM/UIM)? This coverage is optional that protects you in case the person who causes the collision has no liability insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to cover your damages. In our hypothetical situation, if the person who caused the collision only has $25,000.00 in liability coverage and your damages are over $500,000.00, who is going to pay the difference? This is where UM/UIM coverage comes in. Once policy limits or close to policy limits are offered from the liability carrier, and after you receive written permission to settle with the liability carrier from your carrier, you may then pursue UM/UIM coverage from your insurance carrier. Your insurance carrier is required to offer you this coverage. The coverage can only be denied by signing a document stating that you are voluntarily waiving/rejecting the coverage.
What if your UM/UIM coverage is not enough to cover your damages? Do you have an umbrella policy? An umbrella policy is on top of all your other auto and possibly home insurance coverage. If there is not enough liability coverage or UM/UIM coverage, an umbrella policy may step in and pay for your damages. Before you purchase an umbrella policy, make sure it covers UM/UIM. Some insurance carriers don’t offer this option.
Auto insurance is very expensive. In my practice, I have seen many clients who are trying to find a bargain with their insurance and are under covered. When they realize they are under covered, it is too late. I recommend you purchase as much insurance coverage as you can afford.