Auto insurance is one of those boring parts about being an adult that you have to deal with, right? In fact, most Mississippi residents don't really know what their auto insurance plans cover, they just know that they have to pay for it every month.
However, misunderstanding your auto insurance coverage can be a big mistake, especially if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and you need to use it. Here are a few common questions people have about their auto insurance:
Is my car covered if I cause the accident?
It depends on if you carry base liability insurance or collision insurance. If you only have base liability insurance, then repairs to your vehicle are likely not covered if you were at fault for the accident. But if you pay extra for collision insurance, then your vehicle's repairs may be covered even if you were at fault.
What does it mean for a car to be totaled?
Generally speaking, if your car is "totaled" in an accident, then the insurance company will pay you the value of your car before the crash.
Does my insurance cover upgrades that I've made to my car?
Let's say that you have installed a state-of-the-art sound system in your vehicle. Would you get money to replace it if you are involved in an accident and it's damaged? Generally speaking, no, unless you have upgraded to a policy that covers your equipment.
What if my friend or relative was driving my car and got into an accident?
As long as your friend or relative doesn't live with you, then the driver is covered under your auto insurance policy. Most policies only cover those listed on the policy and other drivers who live outside of the policyholder's home.
What about accidents with uninsured motorists?
If the accident was your fault and you have collision insurance, then your policy should cover the damage to your car. However, if the accident was caused by an uninsured driver, then you may be out of luck unless you have uninsured motorist coverage, which is highly recommended in states like Mississippi, where as many as one in three motorists are uninsured.
Like most contracts, your auto insurance policy probably contains a lot of fine print and terms non-lawyers do not understand. If you are confused about what you insurance covers, don't hesitate to keep asking your insurer questions until you understand.
If you have already been involved in an accident, turn to an experienced personal injury lawyer to help. Remember, insurance companies have their own best interests in mind, which is why you need your own advocate in your corner after an accident.