Last Wednesday Scott was in a car accident. I already had planned on doing another Insurance Tips blog post today. So, really it helped me out on deciding what tips to share.
Everyone is ok, thankfully. Cars get damaged, but they are things. People are the most important part. Scott was in his work vehicle. At a stop light. His light turned green so he started through the intersection. However a car ran their red light on a busy road that most are going around 50 mph on. Scott and I are both grateful the impact happened when it did. A second earlier or later and someone was getting t-boned. She had 3 kids in the backseat and someone in the passenger seat. Scott was by himself in his vehicle. Thankfully there was a highway patrolman who was stopped at the same light and saw the whole thing. The kids are ok, the drivers are ok and the other passenger is ok. Scott ended up hitting the rear quarter panel of her car, the tire is now bent backward. Scott’s bumper got ripped off of the front. The hood is smashed up and the headlight is broken. Let me tell you some things that you may not know about insurance.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): this is a coverage you buy for YOURSELF. Some states require it (like Utah) and some states it is optional. The minimum you can have is $3,000 (per person) in coverage. This a no fault coverage, it will not affect your premiums if you file a claim for it. It is for anyone in or on your car at the time of an accident. It will even cover you as a pedestrian that gets hit by a vehicle. We carry $100,000 in PIP on our policy.
- Car Seats: The lady who ran the red light had a toddler in a car seat. I went to her and hugged her because she was so shook up. I let her know I was an insurance agent. I said, when you file this claim and talk with your insurance company you need to tell them you need a NEW car seat. If you are in an accident and have kids in car seats the insurance company WILL give you money to purchase the same car seat brand new. Once in an accident a car seat is compromised. It is no longer safe. You don’t know the kind of pressure that was put on the plastic, on the safety foam or on the straps that keep your child safe. You need a new car seat. Period. Request that you get money to replace your car seat. You will get the cost of purchasing the same car seat new. So if you have a Chicco NextFit Zip, you will get money to purchase a Chicco NextFit Zip. You will not get money to purchase a new more expensive car seat. Insurance is to put you in the same position you were in before the loss.
- Rental Car Coverage: This is a coverage that is not for when you rent a car. Insurance won’t reimburse you the cost of your rental on vacation. Sorry. A lot of people think that is what it is for. It is to cover the cost of your rental car while your vehicle is being repaired from an accident. If you are not at fault, the person who is at fault’s insurance will provide you a rental car. If you are at fault in an accident and do not have this coverage on your policy, you will have to cover your own rental car.
I am a licensed insurance agent in the state of Utah. Please speak to your specific insurance agent or company if you have further questions. Insurance is state specific.