Why is Car Insurance Important and What 2 Types of Coverage are Most Important?
Automobile insurance is the most important thing in our lives that we care the least about. And it's easy to see why many would feel that way: unless you've just been in an accident, the last thing you want to do is page through your policy. Most people just ask their agent to recommend to them "full coverage" and then they simply sign on the bottom line.
I've been a personal injury attorney in the Lehigh Valley for years. For me and for most attorneys at my firm, this is the first, foremost, and singular career they've chosen. We've heard clients tell us that they have "full coverage" many, many times… only for that "full coverage" to be much more lacking than they had been led to believe. By the time we have to give them the bad news, it's too late.
Today, I want to go over the two most important types of coverages on your automobile insurance policy. If you have only two minutes, these are the first ones to check.
First, if you have a Pennsylvania policy, you want to make sure that you have the "full tort" option elected. Avoid the "limited tort" option. What's the difference? Full tort retains your full right to sue, whereas limited tort forfeits your right to recover what's known as "pain and suffering" ― the intangible element of your claim that compensates you for how much your life was negatively impacted. This can often be the most valuable aspect of a claim. While there are some exceptions to limited tort ― such as if you suffer a serious impairment of a body function or serious, permanent disfigurement, among others ― you don't want to be rolling dice on your and your family's futures.
Secondly, you want to make sure that you have plenty of uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist benefits. It's typically cheap, so the more, the better. You can purchase these up to your liability limits. These coverages protect you and your family in the event that the at-fault driver doesn't have any liability insurance (uninsured) or doesn't have enough liability insurance (underinsured) to cover your injuries. It's an important safety net when you consider how many people are driving without insurance or with minimal insurance.