Uncovering the “Full Coverage” Scam

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Almost daily, the attorneys at Abeyta Nelson Injury Law talk with a potential client who says they have “full coverage.” Often, however, the potential client is completely shocked when they discover they have a liability only policy.

Full coverage is: Liability, personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage (or “Other than Collision”).

Here’s a brief explanation of each:

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage protects you or another driver if either of you is found legally responsible to pay for someone else’s injuries, damages and/or losses arising from an accident, which may include damage to the other vehicle, and injuries to the other driver and passengers. Liability coverage also covers passengers in your vehicle if you’re at fault for causing an accident. The minimum amount of liability insurance that Washington requires is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. No matter how serious the injuries, the insured would only be able to recover $25,000. Should you cause an accident and not have enough liability insurance, your personal assets may be at risk. Abeyta Nelson attorneys recommend buying as much liability insurance as you can afford to protect yourself in case you cause an accident.

Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”)

PIP pays for medical expenses and wage loss for you and the passengers in your car, regardless of who caused the accident. Washington law does not require you to purchase PIP insurance. However, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law recommends you purchase PIP insurance because, unlike health insurance, there is no deductible or per visit out-of- pocket payment. Plus, it covers your passengers who may not have health insurance. Under Washington law insurance companies are required to offer you PIP coverage when you purchase your policy. You will automatically have PIP coverage unless you reject the coverage in writing when purchasing your policy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UIM”)

Although liability insurance is required in Washington, all too often, drivers do not have insurance to fully cover an injured person. UIM insurance covers you, members of your household, and others riding in your car against damages caused by a person who does not have insurance or enough insurance. As with PIP insurance, UIM is affordable coverage that should always be purchased.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from an accident regardless of who is at fault for causing the accident. Collision coverage pays for repair or replacement of a vehicle up to the fair market value of the vehicle, minus the deductible amount.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your vehicle from damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, weather, and collisions with animals.

Other Insurance

Other coverage that is available includes towing and rental. Since towing and rental charges can be substantial, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law recommends purchasing this type of coverage.

Understanding What “Full Coverage” Means

Protect yourself and your family in the event of an accident by checking your policies to be sure you have the appropriate amounts of insurance, and that you have full coverage. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to look over your policy with you at no charge.