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Necessity of Having Adequate Insurance

For people that are involved in a motor vehicle collision in either Pennsylvania or Delaware, there are different types of insurance in which you pay. In terms of a personal injury accident, the main ones to consider are what they call Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured / Underinsured.

PIP is for your insurance company to pay your medical bills and/or lost wages for a period of time. Delaware has a different time limit as opposed to Pennsylvania. However, that is the way you get your medical bills paid when you are injured and seek treatment, and that is how your get your lost wages paid up to the limits of insurance that you have. You can not go after the other person that struck you for medical bills and/or lost wages until the amount of PIP insurance available through your own insurance company has been spent. Also, that can not be done until you try to resolve the case. That can be a long time.

The minimum in both states is generally $15,000.00 per person. That may seem like a lot of money, but it can turn out to be very little money depending on your injury.

There is also what they call Uninsured / Underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured coverage is when the person that struck you does not have insurance.

Underinsured motorist coverage is when the insurance on the vehicle that struck you does not have enough insurance to give you fair money for the injuries you sustained.

Again, in Pennsylvania and Delaware the minimum is $15,000.00 per person.

A person can only spend what they can for insurance. However, every time someone comes into my office with a motor vehicle case and they have the minimum amount, I tell them for future reference to contact their agent and find out how much higher levels of PIP and uninsured /underinsured motorist coverage would be. Generally, they find out the amount is not much more than having a $15,000.00 policy as opposed to having a $50,000 or $100,000 policy. If it can be afforded, I strongly urge them to get the higher amount of coverage.

The obvious reason is you have more coverage for your injuries and you do not have to go through other types of insurance that will want it’s money back, or you do not have additional insurance, end up having bills that can not be paid until you go against the personal responsible. Even more importantly, lost wages which can not be paid until you do the same. Many times the other side may not have enough coverage to pay pain and suffering along with medical bill and lost wages. The price of medical treatment is extremely high, and no one knows how much wages they may end up losing.

The same holds true for uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. If you are hurt very badly and the other side has a minimum of $15,000.00, and you only have $15,000.00 in coverage, in Delaware, that would only leave you with $30,000.00 of potential insurance coverage for your injuries, potential medical bills, and lost wages. In Pennsylvania, it could depend on other factors.

I have seen horror stories where people have been extremely injured as a result of the motor vehicle collision. However, the medical bills were well past the $15,000.00 they had in PIP, and the other side only had the minimum amount of liability coverage in the amount of $15,000.00. The result is, even if they were not at fault, they ended up with more medical bills than there was insurance coverage available. That did not even take into account compensation for their injuries.

This may sound complicated, but it is not. Again, the way to do it is to go to your agent and find out how much high levels of coverage for both PIP and uninsured/underinsured will cost you, per month or however you pay. If it can be afforded, it is very much in your interest to get the higher coverage.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood, LLC

Contact us online or call our office toll-free at (302) 777-1000 to arrange a free initial consultation. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and evenings or weekends upon request. We will travel to your home or the hospital if necessary.

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