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129 W Sunbridge Dr,
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Be Insurance Ready

Nov 1, 2020

When out driving on the road, we’re vulnerable to other drivers and their mistakes.  An accident can hurt us physically and financially.  However, being prepared with the proper insurance coverage will make you less vulnerable financially.

What kind of insurance do you need to protect yourself in the event of an accident?

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a very important piece of the puzzle.  Private or government health insurance will usually pay for ambulance transport, an emergency room visit, hospital stays, primary care doctors, specialists, needed surgery, physical therapy, and pharmacy bills.  Even if you have a high deductible, you will often get the benefit of the adjusted price.  Know that some medical providers will say they can’t accept your health insurance because auto insurance is primary.  Our position as your advocate is that if you’re paying a premium for health insurance, and the hospital or doctor contracts with that health insurance, bills should be filed to it.  Your health insurance will pay these bills and look to the primary coverage to pay them back.  If a hospital refuses to submit bills to health insurance, file it yourself.  Providers are just trying to get auto insurance instead of health insurance because it means more money for them.

Auto Insurance

Review your auto insurance coverage and make changes to your policy to maximize your protection in case of a wreck.  Arkansas drivers are required to carry $25,000 in Liability Insurance, which pays for the other party’s damages, such as medical expenses when the policyholder is at fault.  However, liability coverage does nothing for the policyholder except protect them from legal action or a traffic citation for not having it.  Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM), on the other hand, is coverage that takes the place of liability coverage in case the other driver doesn’t have it.  Unfortunately, many people drive around without liability insurance, despite the state’s requirement that they do so.  If a driver without liability insurance causes a wreck and injures you, unless you have adequate UM coverage yourself, it can be financially devastating to you and others.  For example, according to the Insurance Research Council, just over 16 % of the motorists on the road in Arkansas are uninsured, meaning they are driving without any liability insurance whatsoever.  If they injure you in an auto accident, there would be no liability insurance to compensate for your injuries, medical bills, or any other losses you sustained.  For this reason, having sufficient uninsured coverage is critical.

Even if the other driver has the required minimum liability insurance, $25,000 doesn’t go very far when it comes to medical treatment.  That’s why it’s important that you have Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM) on your policy as well.  This takes over when the other driver’s insurance is exhausted.  As with making sure you have adequate Uninsured Motorist coverage, you need adequate Underinsured Motorist coverage as well.  Hospital and medical bills can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and the at-fault driver’s minimum $25,000 of liability coverage is often grossly inadequate when there are severe injuries or multiple people injured.

Medpay Coverage, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in some states, is in addition to any other available coverages.  It covers everyone in the household, or in your car, even if you are at fault for the wreck.  You can typically opt for $5,000 per person or more.

These are often presented by an insurance agent as optional coverages, but it’s our opinion that you should strongly consider having them.  They don’t add much to the premium, and they are always very helpful in getting the health costs covered in case of a wreck.

It’s worth your time to look at your declaration page and discuss changes with your agent.

(We are not insurance professionals.  This blog is intended to share our insights as legal professionals.)

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