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General Car Insurance Law Information

Insurance law attorneys know that although everyone hopes to never be involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to be prepared by purchasing car insurance for your vehicle. The Philadelphia, PA personal injury lawyers at The Levin Firm know that insurance law can be complicated. Insurance law commands an attorney with experience, who is experienced in personal injury litigation and able to unravel the confusion of insurance law.

There a number of different kinds of coverage, all of which serve different purposes:

Liability coverage: this type of insurance covers you when an accident is your fault and you have caused injury to another person or damage to another vehicle. Your liability insurance compensates the other party for their injuries or damage. When your insurance company pays a third party out of your liability coverage to settle a claim against you, they are entitled to raise your premium rate, but certain rules and restrictions apply.

PIP coverage: Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage covers you when you are injured in an accident. Your own PIP coverage pays for your medical bills up to a certain limit, regardless of whose fault the accident was.

Collision coverage: this type of insurance pays you back for damage done to your vehicle as the result of a collision over a certain amount (called a deductible). For example, if your deductible is $500 and there is $2,500 worth of damage done to your car, your collision coverage will pay for the additional $2,000 of damage. When your car is damaged in an accident that is not your fault, your insurance company may demand your deductible from the responsible party and refund it to you. Also, if the damage to your car would cost more to fix than your car is worth (i.e. your car is “totaled”), your collision coverage will only pay you the value that your car is worth.

Comprehensive coverage: like collision coverage, comprehensive coverage pays you back for damage done to your vehicle over your deductible. However, comprehensive coverage applies only to damage that was not the result of a collision with another vehicle. It also applies if your vehicle is stolen.

UM and UIM coverage: Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage protect you in the event you are involved in a collision with a driver who either has no insurance or does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your damages. With the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers on the road, this is a very important type of insurance and it should not be overlooked or dropped in order to save money.

Every state in the country is different in terms of which types of insurance, if any, are required. Some states also have minimum coverage amounts that must be met for some types of insurance. Many states impose criminal and civil for driving without required insurance.

All drivers in Pennsylvania are required to purchase and maintain car insurance. Liability coverage is mandatory in PA. At least $5,000 worth of PIP coverage is also mandatory. Collision, comprehensive, UM and UIM coverage are all optional.

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