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Can You Obtain Compensation from Your Own Car Insurance Policy?

document listing coveragesIt is only natural to think the other driver who caused the crash should be financially responsible for your damages. In most states, that is the case. Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that requires drivers to purchase personal injury protection coverage to pay for their medical bills, up to the limits they paid for.

There are other coverages in Pennsylvania auto insurance policies that also provide first-party benefits, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. These coverages could save you from paying for damages out of your own pocket.

Medical Benefits

Under Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, you are required to have a minimum of $5,000 in coverage for your own medical expenses in one accident. You can purchase up to $100,000 in coverage and other increments in between. Many drivers choose to purchase more than the minimum required coverage, as medical bills can pile up quickly after an accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This coverage is technically not required, but you must reject it in writing if you do not want it. This pays for bodily injury and property damage if you are in a crash with an uninsured driver or one who does not have enough coverage to pay for your damages.

The amount of coverage you buy must be lower than the bodily injury limits in your policy. Bodily injury pays for damages suffered by other drivers or passengers in an accident you cause.

If you have multiple policies, including policies on other vehicles, you can stack uninsured/underinsured coverage to increase your coverage limit.

Optional Coverages

While some coverages are required, others are optional. However, you should consider these additional options when purchasing insurance, as they could save you from a possible financial crisis after an accident. Even though other drivers are required to have insurance, you can never be sure about the coverage the at-fault driver may have, and if they are enough to compensate you for your damages.

Income Loss

A car crash could leave you with injuries that prevent you from working. If this happens, income loss coverage may pay up to 80 percent of your income. Policyholders can receive a minimum of $25,000 per month and a maximum of $50,000 per month.

If you are self-employed, you may be able to claim reasonable expenses for the performance of self-employment services to deal with the loss of income. You may also be able to claim compensation for hiring special help to enable you to work.

Extraordinary Medical Benefits

This pays for medical and rehabilitation expenses that exceed $100,000. The limit on this coverage is $1.1 million. You can purchase this coverage in increments of $100,000.

Accidental Death

If an injury that resulted from the accident causes death within 24 months, the personal representative of the insured may receive this benefit.

Funeral Benefit

This provides compensation for expenses incurred for the funeral, burial or cremation of the deceased individual’s remains. These benefits must be claimed within 24 months of the date of the accident.

GAP Coverage

Unless your vehicle is new or only a couple years old, your vehicle could easily be totaled in a crash. Unfortunately, this might happen when you owe more on your loan than the vehicle is worth.

This is where GAP insurance comes in. This is also known as guaranteed asset protection, and it pays the difference between the insurance company payout for your totaled vehicle and the balance of your loan.  

You can learn more about car insurance coverage in Pennsylvania in the Automobile Insurance Guide.

Need Help with Your Car Crash Claim? Call Schmidt Kramer to Set Up a Free Consultation

Our licensed attorneys have decades of combined experience and our firm has been helping personal injury victims obtain compensation for over 30 years. We have represented many car accident victims and know how to build strong cases in pursuit of maximum compensation.

Scott Cooper has been selected for Super Lawyers for 10 years in a row and was one of the attorneys representing the victim in the Gallagher v. GEICO case, which went before Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. In January 2019, the court ruled household exclusions cannot prevent crash victims from stacking coverage to increase their uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Free consultation and no upfront fees. Call (888) 476-0807.