It can be harder than you think to know who to trust following a car accident. Obviously, the other driver, his or her insurance company and the car accident attorney working for them may be looking for ways to discredit you and avoid taking responsibility for the damage and injuries you suffered in the wreck. However, you might be surprised to find that your own insurance company will not cover all of your damages, treat you fairly or work to ensure the other side is held accountable for their negligence.
Insurance agents work for insurance companies, and their loyalty is to their employer, not you. This is never more evident than when drivers discover that their ‘full coverage’ auto insurance is actually not full coverage, which is something that many drivers do not find out until it is too late. And your insurance company is not any more excited about paying for your damages than the other driver’s insurance company. Both companies want to get away with paying nothing or as little as possible.
Texas is a fault state, which means that when car accidents happen, a driver involved in the wreck must be assigned fault, and the driver who is found to be at fault must compensate the victims of the crash for medical costs and property damage.
The fault auto insurance system can become problematic when the driver at fault for an auto accident does not have car insurance or his or her car insurance is not enough to pay for accident victims’ medical expenses and property damage. In cases such as this, if the driver who was the victim of the crash has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) and personal injury protection (PIP), then his or her own insurance company should provide the compensation needed to ensure his or her medical expenses and property damage are fully covered. If a driver truly has full auto insurance coverage, then his or her policy includes UIM and PIP. In fact, it is against the law for insurance agents to sell you a car insurance policy that does not include UIM and PIP unless you reject the coverage in writing, and therein lies the problem.
Insurance companies want you to choose them over their competitors. Therefore, they are often willing to do whatever it takes to provide you with lower premiums than their competitors. As a result, just because you requested full coverage when you bought your insurance policy does not mean that you are fully covered. If getting your business means providing you with a lower premium than the competition, many insurers will have you waive your UIM and PIP coverage to keep your premiums low. In many cases, insurance agents will have you sign away your PIP and UIM coverage without warning you of its importance or the fact that it means you are no longer fully covered. This is because insurance companies care more about getting your premiums than what is best for you and your family.
While it can be possible to recover compensation from your own insurance company if you were the victim of a car accident that was the fault of an uninsured or underinsured motorist or a hit and run crash, it is extremely difficult and requires the assistance of an experienced accident lawyer. Therefore, it is much better to just ensure that you have UIM and PIP coverage, so that if you or a loved one is involved in a car accident, you will be fully covered.
If you are unsure whether your full coverage auto insurance policy is truly full coverage, the personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC offer free auto insurance policy reviews to Texas drivers. For more information or to schedule your free, no-obligation auto insurance policy review with an experienced insurance lawyer, give us a call or fill out the case review form on this page.