As an injury attorney in San Antonio, I get asked a lot of questions about what auto insurance coverage should a person carry in Texas, and how much coverage do you need. As it turns out, many times, people are involved in an accident or a car wreck and they realize after the fact that they don’t have the insurance that they should have.
So I recorded this video to pass on a few tips and pointers I give to my clients with regards to Texas automobile insurance coverage.
First, a little bit about uninsured motorist coverage, what that is, what it means, and why you should have it. I want to talk also about personal injury protection and then also having adequate coverage limits — that is having enough to really protect you and your family. Everyone’s needs are different, but generally speaking, the adequate coverage limit is something that you can figure out if you have enough or if you don’t.
So first off, with uninsured motorist coverage, you should know Texas has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country and in fact within Texas, San Antonio and Southward, have some of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the state of Texas. This means that your odds of getting hit by someone without insurance in the state of Texas is pretty good. In fact, I always tell people it’s not if you get hit by an uninsured driver, but when.
So uninsured motorist coverage is something that I highly recommend, and most people are surprise at how inexpensive the coverage really is. If you’re driving in San Antonio, in my book Uninsured/Underinsured coverage is a necessity rather than an option.
The second tip is to add personal injury protection, sometimes called PIP for short. And a lot of times, people wonder, “What is PIP?” What I recommend with PIP is to always have PIP along with your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage because personal injury protection protects you with two things. Number one: it can help pay medical bills and number two: it can help pay lost wages.
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is coverage that your own insurance company provides to you and that you actually pay for. It’s in addition to your standard policy coverage, and again, it’s surprisingly inexpensive to add when you consider the benefits.
And I recommend with PIP to get the most that you can afford. Sometimes insurance company will also offer you MedPay. However, I recommend maxing out your PIP coverage before you get MedPay. In fact, I don’t recommend getting MedPay coverage at all unless you’ve maxed out your PIP coverage. If you have to choose one or the other, I would say definitely choose PIP protection over MedPay for a couple of reasons.
Clients are often alarmed to learn that MedPay, is really just a loan, but it’s a loan that you pay for. The reason I say it’s a loan is that if you’re involved in an accident, have medical bills, and if you use MedPay coverage to help you pay those medical bills, if you get a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance, you have to repay back to your own insurance company the amount that they paid under MedPay coverage. With PIP protection, you do not have to pay that back, and it can be used to pay both medical bills, and lost wages. MedPay coverage cannot be used to cover lost wages.
There are a couple of things that many people don’t realize about PIP coverage. First, Texas state law requires that your insurance company must offer you personal injury protection (PIP) and if you reject it, you must reject it in writing.
The second thing that people don’t understand about PIP coverage is that when you make a claim against your PIP coverage the insurance company can’t raise your rates because you made a claim. A lot of times clients say, “I don’t want to file it under my own insurance,” well, if you have PIP protection, you’ve been paying for that coverage — I tell people that not using your PIP coverage is kind of like buying a lottery ticket, having the winning number, but not wanting to cash it in. It doesn’t make any sense.
An insurance company cannot raise your rates from making a PIP claim, that’s against the law. So you’re paying for this coverage, if you get in an accident and you have PIP coverage, you should definitely, definitely make a claim against the PIP coverage so that you can get that extra money to help you and your family out.
The video above also discusses insurance company limits, and why and when you should have above the state required minimums. Take a couple of minutes to view the video.
If you have questions, or would like us to review your insurance policy for you for free, we are happy to do so. Just call us at (210) 910-HELP [(210) 910-4357]. We offer FREE insurance policy review, and will answer your insurance questions free of charge.