Why is it important to understand your own auto insurance policy and the types and limits of coverage you have?
It is important because you never know when you will need to rely upon it. Suppose you are driving home from work one day and are injured after being rear-ended while stopped at a light. The other driver takes full responsibility for the crash and provides her insurance information. Lucky, you think, because the other driver’s insurance will cover the damage and your medical expenses.
Not so fast.
When you call the other driver’s insurance company, you learn that, in fact, the policy wascancelled a few months earlier. The driver has no auto insurance.
Now what? This is where your policy comes into play. In Virginia, every auto policy must include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. The minimum amounts under Virginia law are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident (regardless of the number of people injured), and $20,000 for property damage.
With this type of insurance, if you are injured by someone with no insurance (or in a “hit and run” accident) then YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY steps into the shoes of the other driver, may defend the claim, and can pay the judgment, up to — and only up to — the limits of coverage you have purchased.
Experienced auto accident attorney Doug Landau of the Herndon firm Abrams Landau, Ltd. always recommends purchasing more than the bare minimum in automobile insurance coverage. Read more about Doug’s recommendations for making sure you’re covered. If someone you know or care for has been injured in an automobile accident and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).