When a car wreck occurs, one of the first things your insurer might ask you on the phone is whether anyone was hurt. That’s because, if injuries occurred, then they might have to pay either you or others for their losses. The good news is that car insurance can make itself available to you in case injuries arise. However, policies will have their limitations, and terms will apply based on who receives compensation for their losses. Here’s how a couple of elements of injury coverage works.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance, bodily injury liability coverage among it. This coverage pays for the injuries the insured driver causes to others in accidents. This requirement exists because most states have laws that make drivers financially responsible for third party losses if they cause wrecks.
So, suppose that while driving one day, you run a red light. You hit another car in the intersection, and in the accident, the other driver sustains significant injuries.
Because you ran the stoplight, then the authorities will likely hold you responsible for the accident. Therefore, you will likely face not only the legal penalties of the wreck, but also the damage you did to the other party. You therefore might have to use your own bodily injury liability coverage to pay for the other driver’s medical costs and other settlements.
In Virginia, drivers must carry:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
Keep in mind, however that you often have a chance to buy more coverage than just the minimum required limits. It’s often important for you to carry as much bodily injury liability coverage as possible, in case you wind up causing someone extremely costly injuries.
Medical Payments Insurance
Most car insurance policies also offer coverage for a driver’s own injuries that occur in an accident. For example, most policies contain medical payments insurance. This coverage can offer a driver a settlement for their own injury costs, if necessary. However, this is not an excuse for you not to carry health insurance. A health insurance policy will usually offer much more comprehensive compensation for injuries you sustain in a wreck.
In some states, you don’t have to buy bodily injury liability coverage, but must instead buy a different type of coverage called personal injury protection, or PIP coverage. This coverage provides a settlement for your injury costs regardless of who was at fault for the wreck. Therefore, even if the accident was not your fault, you can still use your own policy to cover the damage costs. If you aren’t required to buy this coverage, however, you might be able to decline it, and possibly save on your rates. Call and talk to your agent at 833-4WE-Insure (833-493-4678) to review your coverage.