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What Is Full Coverage Auto Insurance?

Many people are told by their insurance agent that they have “full coverage” on their car in case they are in a car wreck.  The question is what is full coverage?  Well that depends upon who you ask.

Generally, to an insurance agent, full coverage means you have liability insurance which is required by Texas law.  Liability insurance covers someone else if you or the operator of your car failed to use ordinary care and injures the other person.  Secondly, you have comprehensive/collision coverage on your car.  This means that if your car is damaged in a car wreck or by any other event your car is covered.

Now you will notice there is one person who is not covered by this “full coverage”.  That person is you, the driver of your car.  Liability insurance only protects the other person if you hit them and comprehensive and collision only protects your car not the people in your car.  To have true “full” coverage you and your family members need to be covered by an auto insurance policy.  To do this you need to make sure you add underinsured/uninsured motorists’ coverage to your policy as well as personal injury protection benefits.

It is important to understand that in today’s economic climate approximately one in four Texas drivers have no insurance.  A large percentage of the drivers who do have insurance have the minimum required by Texas law which is $30,000.00 per person, $60,000.00 per accident.  It is important that people understand that if you are in a car wreck with a motorist who only has a $30,000.00 automobile insurance liability policy and you have $50,000.00 in medical bills his insurance is only responsible for the $30,000.00 of insurance he bought.  You could be stuck with that additional $20,000.00 in bills.

The best protection against this scenario is to have underinsured motorists’ coverage.  What underinsured motorists coverage provides is coverage in case you are injured by a motorist who does not have enough insurance or by a motorist who has no insurance.  It gives you an extra layer of protection.

A second benefit you should have under your policy is personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.  PIP benefits pay medical bills or lost wages up to the limit you purchase which can be $2,500.0 to $10,000.00 if you are injured in a car wreck, motorcycle accident or truck wreck.  More importantly because they are no‑fault benefits you are entitled to get these benefits without having to sign a settlement release or file a law suit.  $10,000.00 of personal injury protection benefits would cover you and every member of your family in your car as well as passengers.  That benefit can cost as little as $50.00 a year.  Given the high cost of medical it is insurance well worth having.

So next time you renew your insurance policy and your agent tells you that you have full coverage, ask him if you have uninsured motorists coverage and personal injury protection benefits.  Without that, you do not have true “full coverage.” 

If you have questions about your automobile insurance coverage, or have questions about an accident, the personal injury lawyers of Roberts & Roberts can help. No matter what kind of lawyer you need, including a motorcycle accident lawyer, we can help.  Contact us today.

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