Many drivers don’t think about their insurance coverage beyond paying their bills when they come due. It is only when someone has to file a claim that they start thinking about how much coverage they will actually have.
Understanding more than just the basic premise that insurance pays for your losses after a car crash will make it easier for you to respond appropriately to a crash if one occurs.
Fault matters when it comes to insurance claims
In Louisiana, car insurance is primarily liability coverage. Drivers pay for a policy that will protect them from any property damage and medical costs they cause for others.
In a crash caused by another driver, it will be their policy that pays for the repairs your vehicle requires, your medical costs and any wages you don’t earn during the recovery period.
How much will someone’s insurance policy pay?
The amount of compensation available to you depends both on the needs you have because of the crash and the coverage paid for by the other driver. Insurance companies don’t just pay out the maximum benefit on a policy. Instead, they cover provable losses when responding to a claim.
Many people only receive a fraction of the total coverage available under a policy. Others may find that the coverage doesn’t pay all of their crash-related expenses. Louisiana requires $25,000 worth of property damage coverage. Drivers also need to carry $15,000 worth of medical coverage if a crash hurts one person and $30,000 of coverage for multiple injuries.
Even if your costs are many times that amount, the insurance company won’t pay more than the maximum coverage allowed under the policy.
What are your options when insurance isn’t enough?
You will usually have two options available when insurance doesn’t cover all of your lost wages or other expenses. If you have uninsured or underinsured driver protection on your insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim for the amount not covered by the other driver’s insurance.
If you don’t have that coverage or if you would prefer not to have your insurance costs increase, a civil lawsuit against the individual responsible for the crash can be a solution. Understanding your options and knowing the basics of insurance in Louisiana will make it easier for you to respond to a crash if you ever experience one.