Car insurance is important to your financial security and is mandatory in most states. Although some people only take the minimum amount of insurance, it is wise to consider what type of car you have, how many drivers, and how congested your normal driving area is. You want to be sure you have enough coverage for any property damage claims and injury claims.
No one wants to have a wreck but they happen every day, and to good drivers. Even though you may be involved in one wreck, there could be two types of insurance claims involved.
There are property damage claims and injury claims to contend with. Claims involving property damage include the damages to your vehicle and the other person's vehicle. You will be assigned an adjuster from the insurance company to investigate the accident and decide who was at fault. Once this is done, the insurance company of the person at fault will pay for the damages.
If there is a delay because the people involved don't believe it was their fault, then the insurance companies will pay for their members damages and then make a claim against the other carrier to recoup their money. When an insurance company does this it is called subrogation.
Sometimes people get injured in accidents and their medical bills will need to be paid also. The injured person will sometimes retain legal council on their behalf and the insurance adjuster will deal with the attorney instead of the injured party.
These types of claims are handled separately from the property damage claim and will usually be paid much later down the road than the property damage. That is because the injured person may be receiving treatment or taking physical therapy for weeks or months.
Once the injured party has received all medical treatment and has been released by their doctor, the settlement negotiations can begin. In cases like these it is customary to offer the amount of the medical bills, pay for missed work, and some type of pain and suffering. Your policy limits are the max a person can sue for on your auto insurance, however they could continue with a civil suit. This only happens in a small amount of cases, so as long as you have plenty of liability insurance you should be covered.
After the parties involved reach an agreement of how much money is due the injured person, a settlement agreement is signed and a check is cut.
Property damage claims or injury claims can happen to anyone so be sure your car insurance is adequate to cover your needs and anything unexpected. This way your family and your finances will be well protected.