How Can I Protect Myself Financially When Involved in an Auto Accident?
In a study performed by the Insurance Research Council, it was estimated that 16% of Georgia drivers are not insured. That number is sobering when you consider what that could mean to you and your family in the event of an automobile accident. Often we do not think about the unanticipated costs associated with an accident, but they can become overwhelming very quickly. That is why it is necessary to plan for these unexpected events in advance by preparing and protecting yourself and your family. There are a couple of very effective and low cost methods available for your protection.
The first is known as MedPay coverage. MedPay coverage is a fantastic tool and is recommended to add the security you may need in the event of an accident. Essentially, MedPay coverage is the most cost-effective health insurance you can purchase without all of the pre-conditions of most private health insurance plans. There is no deductible, no co-pay, and will even pay for prescriptions and dental costs associated with accident-related injuries. MedPay coverage is also a great idea because it provides protection to everyone in your vehicle even if they are not named on your auto policy. For instance, if your auto policy included $5,000 MedPay coverage and you and two members of your family were injured in a covered vehicle in an accident, you could collect the $5,000 limit for each individual, for a total of $15,000 to help cover medical costs. On average, the total costs for adding MedPay coverage is less than $20 per year.
Another advantageous tool for Georgia drivers is Uninsured Motorist Coverage or what is commonly known as UM. With the estimated 16% of Georgia drivers being uninsured, this coverage helps to reduce the risk of financial exposure if you are hit by one of those uninsured drivers. You should also know that even if someone does have auto insurance, it may not be enough to pay for the property damage and/or injuries you sustain. In these cases, your UM coverage would kick in to help off-set any accident-related costs that are not covered when the at-fault driver’s insurance has been maxed out. Like MedPay coverage, adding UM to your policy is a relatively low cost option compared to the risks of not having it. It is generally no more than a few dollars per month, depending on your insurance carrier.
You may be asking, what happens when you do make a claim for coverage under the UM or MedPay provisions of your policy. In short, the insurance companies cannot raise your rates solely because you make these claims. In fact, the Georgia state legislature has specifically enacted a law that prevents insurance companies from penalizing you by raising your premiums or canceling your policy because you make a UM or MedPay claim, O.C.G.A. §33-9-40.
An auto accident can have a devastating financial impact on your family. Maximizing your protection with these low-cost coverages will reduce your exposure and add the comfort and security you will need in the unfortunate event of an auto-accident. If you have any questions on insurance please feel welcome to contact us anytime for a no cost review of your insurance coverages.