Auto Insurance Examples and Explanations

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Insurance, in particular, car insurance (aka liability insurance), acts as a vital barrier between parties. It also can help prevent legal recourse in the courts by settling matters beforehand.

  • Insurance is one of the most commonly held contracts (<< See the videos here) in the United States (Source.) Mostly, it operates as a contract where the insured pays a premium to the insurance companies. In turn, the insured seeks reimbursement in case of inevitable losses.

Examples of losses covered by insurance policies include:

  • Sickness
  • Death
  • Property damage, and others.

But insurance companies operate under several different statutes and some judge-made law. When there is a claim, a claimant may or may not get represented by a lawyer. But sometimes it is beneficial to have legal assistance.

Thus, you can help make sure you get the full value of your claim. So Ehline Law helps victims get a fair shake when they need help. This informational piece below should help you understand more.

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Michael Ehline at a desk.

When there is a claim related to a policy holder’s insurance claim, there is a procedure to follow. So the victim may get hurt from a slip and fall at your house or place of work of business, for example. But the insurance company will often hire an attorney to represent them. 

  • The insurance carriers will have a battery of actuaries, adjusters, and other professionally trained personnel.

How Do Carriers Try and Hamstring Your Auto Accident Claims?

These insurance defense attorneys and staff, are often used in cases of car accidents.

  • Their primary concern is to defend their policy holder if they are getting sued.

Usually, a plaintiff is making a liability insurance claim over their injuries. Also, the law does not allow the insured to determine when the insurance company must pay a claim. So the carrier gets time to investigate claims reasonably.

  • But it must be a reasonable delay.

Also, insurance companies hire lawyers to ensure the company complies with the law. These laws could be local, state, federal law, and regulations.

  • But sometimes the carrier acts in bad faith and waits way too long.

Next, insurance can fall into many categories.

However, much discussed here is under the purview of private insurance companies and policies.

What Types of Insurance Coverages Do Most People Seek?

There are many types of insurance that you will select depending upon your specific needs. Let's look at some coverages available and reasons you may need it. There are many loopholes and problems with California's mandatory auto insurance scheme that work against good citizens. So getting better coverages is important for most suffering families.

What Are the Various Types of Auto Insurance Coverage?

By far the most sought after insurance is auto insurance. Several types of insurance coverages are available to California motorists.

  • First, minimum coverage requires a 15/30/5 basic policy (explained more below). But drivers can buy a $10,000 insurance bond to satisfy the California minimum coverages law.

However, basic coverage fails to pay the insured driver. Extra coverage exists for that. And it gets discussed below. Minimum coverage merely covers the legal minimum amount for a car accident victim(s). It also pays for injured occupants and others outside the vehicle who are hurt.

How Can You Avoid Buying Mandatory Auto Liability Insurance?

Discussed here is a method of purchasing an insurance bond to avoid insurance payments. 

  • This list can help you understand the types of coverage you can buy:

    What is Basic Liability Coverage?

  • Most drivers in Los Angeles elect to purchase basic minimum insurance coverage. “Basic liability coverage” covers single person bodily injury to $15,000. It can go to $30,000 total if another person gets hurt. Also, it includes $5,000 or so for property damage. And this represents mandatory minimum coverage. So this insurance pays for the damage to the vehicle you hit. It also includes claims by others in the zone of danger who suffered damage.
    • CAVEAT: Following a wreck, the accused' insurer may pay the full policy if bad injuries. But make sure and speak to a lawyer first. It could be the other driver was in the course and scope of employment. So other coverage may exist.

Discussed below is comp. Comp covers costs such as auto repairs to your car. Things like gap coverages for leased vehicles may be required.

First off, one coverage drivers could probably use is:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP is auto insurance known as "med pay" in California. It pay you a small amount, maybe $5,000 to pay some medical expenses before it is determined who is liable for your accident. This would likely require an addendum to add it to your existing policy.
  • Comprehensive. (“Comp”). It remains important for all drivers to purchase comp and collision coverages. In fact, your insurance agent will make you sign a waiver just to make sure you do not want these coverages. Many people don’t want to pay a few dollars more per month. So they waive it. This is a HUGE mistake and here’s why.

    You are going to want comp for casualties arising out of fires. These also can be god made or natural disasters. Covered items include flying or falling objects. Also covered are theft of property, or destructive vandalism.

    And darting objects that destroy or damage your vehicle are included. The typical example of a darting object would be a case like a deer flying through your front windshield. Most of the time it is at high speeds, as it leaps across the highway.

  • Collision Coverage. Unlike the property damage (“PD”) coverages all drivers must carry to cover minimum damages to the other person’s car, collision coverages are additional insurance that you pay extra for, to deal with your vehicle’s repair or replacement costs.

    Typical examples of events covered are if your car crashes into an object or another vehicle. Or if it rolled over. This coverage is designed to fix up or replace your ride after a bad wreck. Whether a simple fender bender or a bad wreck, it covers you for an uninsured person hitting you. Even if it’s your fault, you paid coverage for this.

What is Gap Coverage?

  • Gap insurance will be required for many high-end vehicles. It pays for “the gap” in the actual value versus the leased or financed amount. Otherwise, the buyer may pay the difference out of their pocket. If not, the victim may be unable to get a replacement car.

What is Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)?

  • Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorists are trouble in some accident cases. Many insurance brokers reference this personal injury protection as UM/UIM. Many uninsured drivers travel the roads in California.

    You should consider purchasing extra insurance coverage. Every day you share the road with unlicensed, uninsured drivers. If a defendant has little to lose they will flee the scene. In any event, this creates a hit and run scenario.

If an uninsured driver causes a road accident, you could be in for trouble. So if he or she hits you or your car, you may have no way to pay for the ambulance ride to the hospital.

Also, you may have no money for other hospital costs. Plus, you might be out the money for damage to your car.

What are the Pitfalls of Covering Primary Care?

Sometimes affording X-rays or your MRI won't be possible. But that's why you buy additional automotive insurance coverage. Even after that, some insurance UIM declarations exclude coverage. Mostly this happens if no physical contact takes place between vehicles during a car accident.

If the other car driver makes you take evasive action, you may be in for trouble. Good luck if you find no paint transfer on the vehicle. So even though you thought you had the coverage, you are wrong.

In a New York Minute, you are left with a truckload of bills and headaches. Make sure you know what you are buying.

What is the smart way to protect yourself from a Los Angeles car accident? Easy, hire a lawyer. Just call attorney Michael Ehline or one of his staff. So give us a call, and we'll discuss your policy. Also, we'll guide you as to the coverage you should purchase for future security.

These can include insurers covering:

  • Health insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Life insurance

But there is also:

  • Municipal insurance
  • Title insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Commercial Lines, and other specialty types of coverage

What are the Vital Terms of an Insurance Contract?

  • Benefit: The compensation given by the insurance company in case of a loss.
  • Claim: A request for a benefit in the event of a loss.
  • Coverage: Types of losses which would be compensated by the insurance company.
  • Insurance Agent: Licensed representative that sells insurance policies.
  • Insured: The person that would receive the benefit. With life insurance, the insured would be the deceased. But the beneficiary would receive the benefit.
  • Policy: Agreement for coverage signed by the insurance company and insured.
  • Premium: Payments to establish and keep the plan.

What is a An Injury Attorney’s Role after a Claim? How Can Ehline Law Firm Help You?

In the case of a claim, the insurance company will often hire an attorney to represent their insured who hurt you. These are often advocates working with the enterprise. So they will not get paid by directly by the insured.

  • In some cases, the insured chooses which attorney should represent them in and out of court.
  • FOR EXAMPLE: A conflict can arise that entitles the defendant insured to retain Cumis Counsel, discussed here.
  • However, in both instances, there have been concerns whether or not all lawyers are fair.

After all, they git hired by the insurance companies. So will they fight until the end for the policy-holder?

The insured doesn’t foot your lawyer's bill?

  • Some lawyers get in over their heads and will take almost any offer.
  • And if you won't take it, your lawyer they could drop your file and leave you with no representation at all. Imagine that?
  • Will your plaintiff's advocate back out before you are adequately compensated? One of the issues that commonly comes up is the plaintiff's attorney's specialization.
  • Most attorneys have some specialized knowledge of insurance law.
  • But not all lawyers become specialized in either insurance or personal injury.

Making sure the attorney representing you is one of the most difficult parts of your life. So you must assure the attorney is sufficiently qualified.

And this is a critical factor. For more information or a free consultation, please do not hesitate to call Ehline Law. Our number in L.A. is (213) 596-9642.