What Kind of Car Insurance Should I Have?

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How do you protect yourself from a car accident?

Well, if you’re injured in a car accident by another driver, the other driver’s insurance will pay for it. Liability insurance exists to pay for this.

After all, who wants to pay out the nose for their own car and someone else’s car after an accident? Or worse, be sued for injuring someone? Plus, every Washington driver is required to carry liability insurance: at least $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per accident. This way, everyone has less risk when venturing onto the concrete river.

That being said, many drivers do not have liability insurance. In fact, over 20% of drivers on Washington roadways are totally uninsured.[1] If you are in a car accident, you have a 1 in 5 chance that the other driver is not insured. And drivers without car insurance often don’t have enough money for a lawsuit to be successful.

So, we’re back to the beginning. If you can’t rely on others to have liability insurance, what can you do? Employ six letters to make all the difference: U-I-M, and P-I-P. These are provisions you can include in your own insurance plan to protect yourself effectively.

UIM stands for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection. What do you get when you have UIM? Your own insurance company pays the difference (up to your UIM limits) between what your injuries cost and what the other driver can pay, even if they can’t pay anything.

PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. PIP pays for medical expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs, starting immediately after the accident. Best part? It’s no-fault insurance: even if you caused the accident, it still pays you. Why have PIP? Personal injury cases can take months (sometimes years) to resolve, which means it will be months (or years) until you can pay those medical bills with the settlement. With PIP, that burden slides off your shoulders like water off a duck’s back.

Your insurance company is required to offer you these types of insurance. Unfortunately, many drivers waive them for lower premiums. We at Iddins Law Group strongly encourage you to carry at least some UIM and PIP in your policy.

Bonus! A couple other factors to consider when deciding a policy:

  • How much do you want to rely on your medical insurance to pay for major injuries from a car accident? (Example: what would your copays be for surgery?)
  • How much do you trust that other drivers have insurance?
  • What would it cost you, both financially and in quality of life, if you were in a major car accident? What would you lose if you were not compensated?

So, the next time you look at your policy, check out what types of insurance you have, and what your limits are. Shelling out less in premiums every month feels good. But paying a little more for a lot of protection against others’ reckless driving? Now that’s a deal worth taking.

Regardless, if you’re the victim of someone else’s driving or negligence, give us a call at (253) 854-1244 or email us at info@iddinslaw.com! We are happy to give you a free case consultation, and help you obtain peace of mind and financial amends.

[1] According to an analysis by the Insurance Research Council in 2019.

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