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Published on Jan 12, 2012 by Edgar Snyder

Protect Yourself: Review Your Auto Insurance Policy

interior of car before an auto accident

Being in a car accident is bad enough. Can you imagine how awful it would be to find out that your insurance won't cover your medical expenses or car repairs? To discover that it's your responsibility to pay for these things, even if the accident wasn't your fault?

Unfortunately, many people find themselves in this exact situation. Car accidents aren't always preventable, but with the right car insurance, you can make sure that you and your loved ones are protected in the event of an accident.

Just as you make resolutions to go to the gym or start a new diet, it's also a good time to take a few minutes to review your current auto insurance policy. I understand that, especially in today's economy, many people want to find ways to cut corners. Please don't do so with your car insurance – purchasing only the minimum coverage required by the state could end up costing you thousands if you or a family member is hurt in a car accident. You don't have to wait until you renew your policy to change your policy either; it can be done at any time.

Auto Insurance: Choosing the Right Fit for You

It's easy to get confused about which policy is best for you, so here are a few guidelines to help.

In Pennsylvania, the first thing to consider when choosing car insurance is deciding whether to carry Full Tort or Limited Tort on your policy. The state's minimum coverage requirement is Limited Tort, but our law firm recommends Full Tort.

Having Full Tort means that you can receive compensation for pain and suffering for any injuries you sustain in a car accident. If you have Limited Tort protection, you can't seek money for pain and suffering. This applies when you're in your own car, as well as if you're injured as a passenger in someone else's car or as a pedestrian.

In addition to selecting a Tort option, there are three other types of car insurance coverage required in Pennsylvania. You must purchase Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage Liability, and Medical Expense Benefits to satisfy the minimum requirements for PA car insurance coverage. Each type of coverage has a set statewide minimum, but it may be a good idea to review our recommended coverages so that your insurance policy doesn't fall short in the event of an accident, leaving you to front the bill.

I realize that switching to a new Tort option or upgrading from the minimum state requirements may cost you a little bit more on your insurance premium, but it can save you from having to pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

You can check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for any available discounts if your vehicle has:

  • Passive seat belts
  • One or more air bags
  • A passive anti-theft device
  • An anti-lock braking system

You also can receive discounts if your vehicle is a standard model versus a sports or high performance vehicle, or if you are a teenager who passes an approved driver's education course.

For more discounts, you can check our law firm's webpage for obtaining policy discounts. As always, I wish the best for you and your family as we begin the New Year.

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