What Everyone Should Know About Auto Insurance

By Attorney Mark Milsop

The difference between liability and first party coverage?

Liability coverage protects you if you are sued by another person.

First Party coverage is insurance that will protect you, resident relatives in your household and possibly your passengers.  This includes medical coverage and wage loss coverage.  Closely associated with this is Un or Underinsured motorist coverage.

What happens when the other driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance coverage.

An important type of insurance that every motorist should have is Un/Underinsured motorist coverage.  This protects you, certain resident relatives in your household and occupants of your vehicle in the event that an at fault driver that hurts you is uninsured or not adequately insured.  Uninsured motorist coverage takes the place of liability insurance if the other driver is uninsured.  Underinsured coverage supplements the other driver’s coverage if he or she does not have enough coverage.

Many people who sell insurance will encourage you to waive or reduce the amount of this coverage.  If you are injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured driver, you will regret it if you listen to the insurance company and waive or reduce this coverage.

The difference between limited and full tort?

If you are a resident relative in your household who insures you chooses “limited tort” coverage, you are giving up your right to sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering unless you are involved in collision that results in your death, serious permanent disfigurement or a serious impairment of body function.  Unfortunately, the courts often construe the term “serious injury” much more restrictively than most people would anticipate.  A limited tort election does not prevent you from recovering for out of pocket losses.  You should consider obtaining “full tort” coverage a priority.