Saturday, August 20, 2016, AM | Leave Comment
Many drivers incorrectly believe that their auto insurance covers all of their car accident expenses.
However, the truth is that auto insurance policies, even those that feature comprehensive and collision coverage, typically cover only so much and then the driver must pay the rest.
Your insurance carrier bases coverage on several factors, including your car’s purchase price and depreciation and your policy deductible.
If your carrier decides that your car isn’t a total loss, you can still expect out-of-pocket expenses in the following areas:
Insurance companies agree upon an estimate amount with your chosen repair shop or send a representative to inspect your car and come up with an estimate.
Most companies also offer a supplemental estimate whenever a mechanic finds more damage. Carriers typically refuse to cover any work they see as unnecessary.
For example, your carrier might refuse to cover certain types of cosmetic work, such as a special paint job or luxury accessories.
If repairs take longer than estimated, your carrier might refuse to cover extra labor.
Although many drivers consider vehicle towing from an accident site a repair-related expense, your carrier likely doesn’t cover towing or other services that help you get your car to a shop, such as battery recharging or flat tire repair or replacement.
Lastly, you’re responsible for uncovered parts and labor if you took out the minimum accident repair coverage.
Whether you’re at fault or not, you might need the services of an experienced car accident lawyer, such as those at Harron Law to help you better understand the legal complications that can come up after an accident, such as claim approval delays and denials and long-term physical and emotional injuries.
Another driver might also try to claim that you’re at fault for an accident even if the that driver or a different source caused it, such as acts of nature from weather, insects and animals and man-made events like local construction accidents, public transport breakdowns or a sinkhole caused by leaking underground pipes.
Additionally, your carrier might attempt to force you to accept a less-than-suitable settlement amount or refuse to pay for certain medical expenses.
Many carriers offer limited medical coverage. They assume that you only ever need additional coverage to handle expenses that your health insurance doesn’t cover.
Medical coverage through auto insurance policies often include restrictions that can lead to high out-of-pocket expenses.
For example, you might not have coverage from either insurance plan for a physician’s bill sent to you after your health insurance carrier paid the hospital where the physician treated you.
You might not have coverage for prolonged care or cosmetic services.
You usually won’t have coverage for gas and public transportation tickets that you or your loved ones have to buy for you to receive treatment at long-distance in-state and out of state medical offices, clinics and other treatment centers.
Drivers often have to pay for rental cars and hotel stays while visiting centers for continued care unless they have coverage or discounts through another organization, such as the American Automobile Association or the AARP.
If you don’t have extensive rental accident protection and an accident involves a rental car, you may have to pay for most of the repair work and possibly a fee for every day that the company that rented the car to you is unable to put it back on the road.
Overall, given that many of these car accident-related expenses can run thousands of dollars, you should always set aside a preset amount of money monthly into an interest-bearing savings account.
Even if you already have an emergency account, you should consider making car accident savings a high priority.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.