In this very informational video, Stephen Karp & Peter Hart discuss auto insurance in detail. In Pennsylvania where they practice personal injury law, it is not mandatory to have car insurance. To protect yourself, you need to purchase your own uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage from your own insurance company as an add-on to your auto policy. This way, if you are in an accident with someone with no or very little insurance, your insurance will cover the total amount of your injuries, or the difference between what the other person’s coverage is and your total insurance claim.
Legal Advice: Do You Need Uninsured And Underinsured Car Insurance Coverage?
Uninsured And Underinsured Auto Insurance Coverage In Pennsylvania
These casual conversations between two top Chester County personal injury lawyers is a great way to gain this knowledge so that you are confident when reviewing your current or new auto insurance policy. The legal language and descriptions can often be somewhat confusing and people might just tend to overlook recommended coverage additions, or refuse them when offered by the insurance agent. Many times, this uninsured and underinsured is not addressed at the time of insurance purchase, and then you will be driving around the big state of Pennsylvania not fully protected with your auto insurance coverage. These extra provisions are minimal expenses each year and certainly more than worth it if you ever experience an automobile accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver whether it be you, a family member or even if you are a pedestrian – the policy will have you covered.
Car Insurance Legal Discussion Transcript
PETER HART: Hi Steve, how are you today? We’re back for another little talk about legal tips and about auto insurance. I wanted to ask you a question dealing with under insurance and uninsured coverage in Pennsylvania.
STEPHEN KARP: Pete, It’s like anything in an insurance policy, you have to know what you’re selecting and what it is you’re opting out on. And the problem people just don’t know what these terms are. Most people know what uninsured is. Uninsured is that if the person rear end’s you, and they don’t have insurance. And in Pennsylvania it’s about 25% of drivers have no insurance at all. So you want to be protected if the guy that hits you has no insurance, and you get your own policy of uninsurance and therefore whatever your damages are, your insurance company will pay you.
PETER HART: So in other words, you are going back to your own insurance company who you’re paying to sort of give you an extra policy.
STEPHEN KARP: Because you can’t sue the other guy, he has no insurance and usually no money.
PETER HART: OK
STEPHEN KARP: And now we have underinsurance, and underinsurance is different. Suppose the person who hits you – rear ends you or goes through a red light – suppose that person has insurance, but it’s not that much, suppose they have fifteen thousand…
PETER HART: In other words the offending driver has in Pennsylvania as little as fifteen thousand in coverage…
STEPHEN KARP: And that can a problem because if you have a bad injury – even broken bones are worth a lot more than that – you again can be covered by getting underinsurance. Let’s say the person who hits you has fifteen thousand and your injury is worth a hundred thousand, the defendant will pay you fifteen and you can get the difference from your own company – that’s underinsurance.
PETER HART: What’s the difference in cost?
STEPHEN KARP: Not that much! We have to start first with how much coverage you can have. Let’s say you have a hundred thousand bodily injury – you can have up to three or five hundred thousand, you can have an umbrella policy – but let’s just say you have a hundred thousand in bodily injury to protect you
PETER HART: Protect you if you’re sued by somebody else.
STEPHEN KARP: You should always get a hundred thousand dollars in uninsured and a hundred thousand in underinsured. You can’t get more than your bodily injury – but you should always get that amount. I don’t need that much – I’ll get a hundred thousand dollars if it’s my fault, but I’ll have my uninsured motorist at fifteen thousand, or fifty thousand.
PETER HART: A big mistake!
STEPHEN KARP: You lose money and we’ve had cases where people have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars! So folks, whatever you’re bodily injury is make sure that you’re uninsured and underinsurance is good… And ask your agent how much the difference is, you’ll be surprised
PETER HART: I have five hundred thousand dollars in uninsured coverage. Do you know how much it costs me a year?
STEPHEN KARP: I’m gonna guess thirty eight dollars a year!
PETER HART: That’s exactly right! Underinsured – it’s a little more, but it’s the most important in my opinion coverage that anyone can have.
STEPHEN KARP: And people also do not understand that uninsured and underinsured covers you even if you’re in another car, even if your family member is in another car, even if you’re in the street and a car is involved with an accident, if your on a bicycle and a car’s in an accident. So that’s one of the most important coverage’s. In Pennsylvania now, you can do away with uninsured and underinsured, they can tell you don’t even need it, you have to select it, that would be the biggest mistake anybody can make, not to select it and not to select the format.
PETER HART: And I’ve had clients call me and say, “I don’t want to file an underinsurance claim because I’m afraid my rates are going to go up!”
STEPHEN KARP: It does affect your rates at all if it’s not your fault.
PETER HART: It goes back to ‘fault’!
STEPHEN KARP: Don’t worry about that!
PETER HART: So any lesson to be learned out of this whole thing is get underinsured and uninsured – it’s the most important coverage you can have to protect yourself – and whose the most important person? You!
STEPHEN KARP: And if you’re not sure – give us a call, we’ll be happy to give you free advice on it.
PETER HART: Absolutely, anytime give us a call.