Being in a car accident, suffering property damage, or losing a loved one is extremely stressful. Not having adequate car insurance, property insurance, or life insurance policies can make things even worse.
To protect yourself and your loved ones, you’ll need to have the appropriate insurance policies and limits in place and know where to turn for legal assistance if needed. A law firm experienced in property damage and personal injury cases can protect your rights, help you interact with insurance companies, and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The sections below have helpful information on assessing your financial protection from three types of insurance policies. Ginnis & Krathen attorneys can also talk with you about your insurance coverage and what to expect if you have to file a claim.
Why Reviewing Your Insurance Policies Annually Is Critically Important
To avoid being adversely affected by unforeseen circumstances, you should review your insurance policies at the start of each new year. Too often, people have insurance but not enough to cover an incident completely, and they don’t know this until they file a claim.
In those cases, they may have to settle for the insurance company’s “lowball” payment and can end up with significant out-of-pocket expenses. That scenario can lead to short-term financial distress and long-term financial challenges.
Reviewing Your Auto Insurance Coverage
It’s all too common for people to discover they don’t have adequate car insurance only after being involved in an accident. At that point, they’re in a predicament, as you can’t increase your policy limit after the fact. It’s also common to learn when another driver is at fault that they are underinsured or uninsured.
Here are the primary types of coverage typically included in an auto insurance policy.
Liability insurance protects you if you’re at fault in an accident that causes injuries or property damage. Settlements and personal injury firm defense costs can be paid by liability insurance.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
Car insurance policies can also have collision and comprehensive coverage. These coverages are typically sold together. They address things like repair bills, vandalism, and theft. They also protect you in the event of a fire or flood, damage from hail and other falling objects, and collisions with animals.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection coverage can pay medical bills for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault in an accident.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Other types of auto insurance are underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. This additional coverage is important in Florida because the state doesn’t require bodily injury insurance. If the at-fault party doesn’t have bodily injury coverage, under/uninsured motorist insurance can cover the costs of an incident.
Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage
Florida state law requires minimum auto insurance coverage, but you should be aware that those levels may not protect you sufficiently. A car accident attorney at Ginnis & Krathen can help you understand your auto insurance if you have questions.
It’s also critical to talk with a car accident attorney before discussing your case with an insurance provider. A lawyer can help ensure you get the compensation the insurance company owes you.
Assessing Your Property Insurance Coverage
Property insurance protects your home and personal property. Having adequate coverage is crucial in Fort Lauderdale and throughout Florida for many reasons, including the region’s high incidence of damaging storms.
Property insurance is also called homeowners insurance. It’s a good idea to start each year by reviewing your policy. It should cover two types of assets. The first is the structure of your home. The policy may insure your residence in one of three ways. These are the replacement cost, “extended replacement cost” (typically 20% over the cost), or actual cash value.
Homeowners insurance also covers your personal belongings for either replacement costs or actual cash value. If you own expensive items like jewelry, you may have to add a “floater” or “rider” to provide complete protection.
Whether you suffer damage to your home or property, you should consult an attorney before engaging with your insurer. Insurance companies focus on paying the minimum on claims to increase their profits. A lawyer can help you get fair and full compensation.
Confirming You Have Appropriate Life Insurance Coverage
Life insurance pays a beneficiary or beneficiaries when the person named in the policy dies. Payments help protect survivors financially and can be used for living expenses, the loved one’s funeral costs, etc.
The two primary types of policies are term life insurance and whole life insurance. Term policies last for a specific period, like 10 or 20 years. You may prefer a 20-year policy if you have children and want to ensure tuition is covered throughout their education. If your goal is to cover your mortgage, you might want a 30-year policy.
Whole life insurance lasts for your entire life. If you purchase it when you’re young, you should consider all the potential expenses you want it to cover when you die.
It’s essential to review your life insurance policy regularly, making sure all of the information you provide the insurance company is complete, accurate, and up-to-date. Insurers can deny claims if they believe there are misrepresentations (of your health, etc.) on the application. They may be particularly focused on accuracy if you die within the first few years of owning the policy.
If an insured loved one dies, you should talk with a lawyer before reaching out to the life insurance company. That’s particularly important in wrongful death accidents. Your attorney can guide you through the claims process to ensure you get the compensation the insurer owes you.
Protect Your Right to Insurance Compensation
If you have questions about insurance coverage or are preparing to engage with an insurance company about a claim, contact Ginnis & Krathen first. We can be your advisor and advocate, helping you move confidently through a complicated process and ensuring you get the payment you deserve.