While UM insurance is the most important elective coverage available under your car insurance policy, there are other noncompulsory coverages that are worth exploring.
Medical Payments coverage is not required under Louisiana law, but it is beneficial, especially if you do not have health insurance, or if you have a high deductible health insurance plan. Medical Payments coverage will pay any reasonable and necessary medical expenses that an insured person incurs as a result of a motor vehicle accident, regardless of fault.
For example, assume you rear end another motorist on Interstate 12 and strike your head on the steering wheel during the collision. You fear that you may have a concussion and are transported from the accident scene by ambulance to a local hospital. After a brief observation and some diagnostic tests, you pass the concussion protocol and are discharged. The medical expenses for the ambulance, hospital, emergency room physician and radiologist will likely cost a minimum of $3,000.00 - $5,000.00. If you do not have health insurance, or if you have a high deductible plan, you will likely be paying these expenses out-of-pocket. However, if you have Medical Payments coverage, your car insurance company will pay these expenses.
Medical Payments coverage is usually a “per person limit,” which means that each person in your vehicle has their own available coverage. In the example above, if you and three passengers in your vehicle were all injured during the accident, then each person would have their own Medical Payments limit.
Medical Payments coverage is one of the least expensive options under your car insurance policy, and there is no deductible associated with this coverage. The Shofstahl Law Firm, L.L.C. recommends Medical Payments limits of at least $5,000.00 per person. Whether you would benefit from higher limits is a case-by-case determination largely dependent on the sufficiency of your health insurance policy.
Collision coverage will pay to repair your vehicle after an accident regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If you total your vehicle during an accident that you caused, then you will not be compensated for the loss of your vehicle without this coverage. Conversely, if your vehicle is damaged during an accident caused by another motorist, and that motorist does not have sufficient insurance to repair or replace your vehicle, then you can make a claim under your Collision coverage to be fully compensated for your loss.
Comprehensive coverage will pay to repair the damage to your vehicle caused by an occurrence other than a motor vehicle accident. This coverage applies to losses caused by theft, vandalism, floods, fire, tree damage, etc.
Unlike liability, UM and Medical Payments coverages, Collision and Comprehensive coverages do not have policy limits. Rather, these coverages will pay the full cost of the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
Collision and Comprehensive coverages usually have deductibles of $250, $500, or $1,000.00. If you choose a higher deductible, you will have higher out-of-pocket costs after a loss, but your monthly premium will be cheaper. The opposite is true if you select a lower deductible.
Christian Shofstahl esq.
Personal Injury Attorney dedicated to maximizing recoveries for clients. Information contained herein does not constitute legal advice.