If a negligent driver with insufficient liability coverage injures you or your passengers, your insurance carrier can cover all or part of the costs. What your insurance company pays will depend upon the amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage you’ve purchased. Your insurance company will only pay for damages up to the amount of coverage you carry.
For example, if you are injured by a negligent driver with a $30,000 liability policy, and it is determined that you sustained $100,000 in injuries, you could collect $30,000 in damages from the at-fault driver and an additional $70,000 from your own insurance carrier. But this would only be true if you had purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of at least $100,000/$300,000.
Remember that most insurance carriers will not sell uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in an amount greater than your liability policy. Nonetheless, purchasing a bit more coverage is a small expense when balanced against the benefits you would receive should you or your family be injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is mandatory no-fault coverage under the Minnesota No-Fault Act. By law, insurance companies must pay up to $20,000 toward any medical treatment resulting from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The insurance company must also pay up to $20,000 for lost wages/replacement coverage.
You can purchase additional PIP coverage. Most insurers will let you buy up to $50,000 in medical coverage and up to $50,000 for lost wages/replacement costs.
Another way to increase PIP coverage is by “stacking.” If you have two or more cars insured through the same carrier, you can stack those policies. Let’s say you have three cars you can “stack.” That would give you up to $60,000 in PIP coverage and up to $60,000 in lost wages/replacement coverage. The cost of stacking can be as low as $25 per year, but you cannot stack uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
To learn more about how to protect yourself and your family with automobile insurance, or if you or a loved one have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, please feel free to contact Richard L. Tousignant, a Minnesota personal injury lawyer at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben, for a FREE no-obligation consultation at 612-377-7777 or 800-752-4265.