When Would I Need to Use My Own Insurance Coverage in a Wreck?Submitting an insurance claim after a car wreck or other auto accident ensures that the proper protocols are being followed in order to ensure a timely and fair resolution of your damages. Depending on who or what caused the wreck, the type of insurance coverage utilized will vary. Generally speaking, you use your own insurance coverage when:

  1. You have been injured in a hit-and-run accident.
  2. The driver who hit you does not have enough coverage.
  3. You are at-fault for an accident.

Our Sevierville car accident attorneys are here to help guide you through the trying times involved in the aftermath of a car wreck, which can quickly devolve into an insurance nightmare for many.

How can my own insurance policy help me?

Every driver in Tennessee is required to have car insurance. However, options and types of additional coverage will vary with each driver on the road based on their needs.

Comprehensive auto coverage: This would essentially cover the events that are out of your control, such as extreme weather, vandalism, or fires. If a fallen tree branch smashes your windshield during a bad storm, you would utilize your comprehensive auto coverage to pay for the brand new windshield and other repairs. It may even pay for a rental car in the process, depending on your specific policy. Hit and runs would be covered under this type of insurance as well.

Collision coverage: Collision coverage is exactly how it sounds; it’s there for when you collide with another vehicle or object and your vehicle is damaged as a result. This would pay for any repairs needed once you file a claim, and it is available for more than just fender benders. It’s there for you and you alone.

Example: You are driving down a dark road in the middle of the night, and a deer jumps in front of your car. It causes $5000 worth of damage. If your deductible is $500, then the collision coverage would cover the other $4500.

Even if an accident is somebody else’s fault, it often makes sense to use your collision coverage for the quickest route to repairing your automobile.  Generally your insurance will then make a claim against the at-fault party and you will be refunded for the deductible. 

Med Pay: Medical payments coverage, or Med Pay, is utilized when it comes to paying for medical and health care related expenses for you to use for yourself, your family, or any other passengers involved in a car accident or wreck with you. This insurance will still cover you, regardless of who is at fault or caused the accident. It can also be used for funeral expenses if needed.

Uninsured (UM) coverage: In Tennessee, this coverage is optional and not mandated by law, but it is an extra safeguard against other dangerous and (potentially uninsured) drivers. Without this coverage, you could be paying out of pocket if the other driver has no insurance. This also exists for your benefit if you are injured or your car is damaged in a hit and run. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over twenty percent of Tennessee drivers are uninsured, which is one of the highest rates in the entire nation. This insurance is an extra safeguard against careless drivers that you may be sharing the road with on any given day. The most important thing you can do now is to obtain the highest Uninsured/Underinsured coverage available.

Underinsured (UIM) coverage: Each state defines underinsured as slightly different. This would typically be considered coverage in the scenario that the other driver has a policy that doesn’t have enough to cover another person’s damages if they are found to be at fault after an accident.

Tennessee does not allow you to “stack” multiple types of insurance like UM and UIM. Only liability insurance is required by law, so it’s a wise idea to seek additional coverage if it is within your budget and you feel safer driving with it. Paying a bit more upfront could save you a lot of money in the long term, as well as greatly decrease your stress levels.

As the saying goes, it’s best to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. Having the proper insurance coverage is no different. Bad drivers do exist, and so do uninsured ones. Unfortunately, these two categories of drivers may overlap at times. It’s best to protect yourself on the road against these types of unfortunate circumstances.

How we help after a car wreck

At Delius & McKenzie, PLLC, we are here to help you obtain all of the insurance coverage that you are personally entitled to after a car wreck. Our Sevierville car accident attorneys handle all types of motor vehicle accident cases; this includes cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Regardless of your specific accident or situation, knowledge on obtaining the proper insurance coverage is essential.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car wreck, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We serve the Tennessee communities of Sevierville, Seymour, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and we’re eager to fight for you.