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Car Accident? What Kind of Insurance Do You Have/Need?

Car insurance policies are not created equal. After you have been involved in a car, motorcycle or truck accident (whether it was your fault or not), your insurance will come in to play, one way or another. As previously discussed in Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage, California law requires that all drivers carry a minimum of $15,000/$30,000 liability coverage if they are at-fault for the personal injuries sustained by the victim of the car accident. However, there are many other types of insurances available. What kind of coverage will cover your property damage if you are involved in a car, motorcycle or truck accident? Unless you have collision coverage, all repairs to your vehicle will be paid for out of your own pocket. Collision coverage kicks in when your vehicle sustains property damage in an auto accident. The amount of out of pocket liability to which you will be exposed will be determined by the deductible you choose (typically, the deductible is $500 or $1,000). For example, you rear-end another vehicle and cause $4,500 in damage to your vehicle. Assuming you have collision coverage (which is typically capped at the cash-value of your car) with a $1,000 deductible, you will pay $1,000 toward the repair and your insurance company will cover the remaining $3,500. But what kind of coverage will cover your property damage when it is not involved in a car, motorcycle or truck accident? For example, your car was vandalized or crushed by a falling tree limb. Under these types of scenarios, you will be protected through an insurance policy known as comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage kicks in when the damage to your vehicle was not the result of an auto accident. It essentially covers all damage to your vehicle not caused by an accident and that was not done intentionally by you (i.e., you cannot drive your car into a wall and then claim a boulder rolled off a hill and crushed it). The deductible and out of pocket expenses to you work the same way as collision coverage. Understand, the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your yearly (or monthly) premium will be. If you want a smaller premium, increase the deductible, but just realize that should something happen to your vehicle under one of these types of coverages, you will be out of pocket a greater amount when paying the deductible. If you have been involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident and need assistance dealing with your insurance company, contact our car accident lawyerfor a free consultation.

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