Television advertising about car insurance is downright misleading. Progressive Insurance advertises a gimmick called “Name Your Own Price.” GEICO advertises that “15 Minutes Could Save You 15 Percent.” Liberty Mutual encourages potential clients to “Only Pay for What You Need.” These slogans are designed to sell more insurance, not give people information important to making wise decisions about car insurance.
The use of misleading slogans is particularly dangerous when it’s combined with buying car insurance online rather than through a knowledgeable insurance professional. Not too long ago, most people bought insurance from agents located in their hometown with whom they had a relationship. You went to the agent’s office and talked to them. They explained the different kinds of coverages, answered your questions, and designed a car insurance package that met your needs.
Today, far too many people, lured by misleading TV ads, choose to go online to shop for and buy insurance. As a result, if they’re shopping with Progressive, they name a dollar amount and then the Progressive software tells them what they can get for that price—not what coverages they need and why.
And, as another example, if people shop for insurance with GEICO, lured by a lizard who walks on his hind feet and speaks with an Australian accent, they think that they’re going to save hundreds of dollars. Little do they realize that in order to save the kind of money that the ads promise, they have to go without important coverages that they’ll need if they’re involved in an accident.
In other words, Progressive, GEICO, Liberty Mutual and others offer a false bargain. They tell you you’re getting “Full Coverage,” but what they’re really selling is cheap insurance that’s cheap because it doesn’t provide you and your family with the protection you need. These cut-rate policies almost always fail to provide you with two kinds of coverage that are essential if you want to be fully protected.
What are the 2 types of coverage that are essential for full auto insurance coverage?
1 – Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage:
This coverage protects you, your family, and anyone in your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who either has NO INSURANCE or has some insurance but NOT ENOUGH TO FULLY COMPENSATE YOU for your injuries.
UIM coverage is the only way you have of protecting you, your family, and others in your vehicle from the high number of uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road in Central Washington. Our experience is that approximately 25 to 33% of drivers in our area have absolutely no insurance not withstanding state law that requires all drivers to be insured! Many bought insurance online.
In addition to a high number of uninsured drivers, there’s another 25 to 33% of drivers who are insured, but carry only the $25,000 per person minimum required by Washington law.
What this means is that your chance of being involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who has no insurance or not enough insurance to fully compensate you for your damage is somewhere between 50 and 66 percent! The only way to protect yourself is to buy UIM coverage of at least $100,000/300,000, and better yet $500,000.
Your chance of being in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver IN CENTRAL WASHINGTON is between 50-66%.
2 – Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage:
This coverage provides you, your family, and anyone else riding in your vehicle with coverage for medical bills for three years up to the coverage limit, wage loss for a year, and necessary household services like in-home nursing and chore service in the event of any injury accident. This coverage is essential even if you already have medical insurance since, unlike your medical insurance, there is no deductible or co-pays. And, medical insurance doesn’t provide you with wage loss payments. We recommend you buy at least $35,000, and better yet $50,000, of PIP coverage. High medical costs can eat up coverage of $10,000 in less than a day!
Both UIM and PIP coverages are so important that Washington state law requires insurance companies to offer them to you. You have to sign a waiver to reject them. A simple rule to remember—DON’T SIGN ANY WAIVER WHEN BUYING AUTO INSURANCE. It’s no coincidence that Progressive and GEICO, along with General, Esurance, Viking, and Dairyland, are the most likely companies to sell you short on insurance.
Rather than buy your insurance online, find an insurer with a knowledgeable local agent you can sit down with, discuss your needs, and make sure you fully insure yourself and your family on the road. If you have any questions about your coverages, or are involved in an accident, call the Yakima car accident attorneys at Abeyta Nelson Injury Law. There’s no charge to discuss your accident with us and never a fee unless we win your case.
-blog written by attorney Terry Abeyta, Abeyta Nelson Injury Law