Pa Auto Insurance, Understanding Your First Party Benefits

August 24, 2009 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, first party benefits, pa auto insurance, pennsylvania auto insurance

Pa Auto Insurance, Understanding Your First Party Benefits

Unfortunately, I hear too many people using the phrase “no fault” while misinterpreting its application to insurance completely. The term has been used far too frequently and it’s no surprise that folks have picked up on its general meaning but have rarely been advised as to which coverage it applies to. I’ll try to help you understand it in easy to read language.
In Pennsylvania, the first party benefits portion of your pennsylvania auto insurance policy apply to:
? medical expenses
? funeral benefits
? accidental death benefit
? income loss.
These are only a few of the coverages you will find on your policy but they are the only coverages that are considered to be “no fault” coverages. The only one of these coverages that is required by Pa Law is the medical expense portion. A minimum medical expense limit of $5,000 is required for any policy issued in the state. Limits of up to $100,000 are available. All other first party benefit coverages are optional.
Understanding the meaning of the term “no fault” can be simply stated that “your policy” will respond to any injury that you sustain that is related to an automobile. With the exception of a commercial vehicle being used for work. Regardless of who is determined to be at fault, your coverage will pay for your medical expenses, work loss, funeral or accidental death that resulted from an automobile accident. Your insurance company is prohibited by law from recovering the expenses they have paid under “first party benefits” on your auto policy regardless of who is determine to be the negligent party.
A few of the odd examples I’ve encountered over my past 23 years in this business that were paid under my clients first party benefits coverage
? Insured cut the tip of finger off in the fanbelt while working on his car
? Insured had his foot run over by another car
? Insured stepped off the curb and was hit by a mirror of a passing car
? Insured shut his finger in friends car door
? Insured slipped on icy driveway and hit her head on the car when falling
Try to avoid getting your insurance advice from a 1-800 expert. Asking a friend or relative for a referral to someone knowledgeable in the business is always a good choice when looking for assistance.

Pa Auto Insurance, Make My Premiums Lower Please

August 18, 2009 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, pa auto insurance, pennsylvania auto insurance

Pa Auto Insurance, Make my Premiums Lower Please

 

Saving money on your Pennsylvania Auto Insurance might be as simple as doing a little legwork.  Most of us are inclined to think that affordable car insurance is a matter of shopping around and getting a bunch of companies to “bid” on our business. If it were that simple everyone would be getting the absolute best deal and all of us insurance agents would have plenty of time off. 

Your first course of action is to clear up any incorrect information on your current credit report. Obtaining a copy of your credit report from the 3 leading providers: Transunion, Experian and Equifax is the place to see if errors have been made. In most cases, You will need to access choicepoint.com  to ask for corrections to what you feel are errors. Be prepared to substantiate your claim with documentation. Taking these steps “first” can be key to getting an auto insurance price quote that accurately reflects your exposure to the prospective insurance company.

Secondly, always take into consideration “open accounts”. That credit card you’ve never used since you originally opened it…..remember ?… to get a 20%credit at the checkout counter ? You need to consider closing that account in writing to the card issuer and get it off your credit report. To some insurance companies that is another open line of credit that could jeopardize your credit ranking. If you’re not using it, close it and watch your credit score climb a few more points.

Thirdly, you should realize that many pennsylvania insurance companies are using different “modeling” criteria to profile drivers that fit their preferred appetites. These preferred prospects will be “scored” or “profiled” using clue reports, credit score, mvr’s and other personal data that is purchased from carriers such as choicepoint.  The key factor is that many companies are putting different emphasis on the credit portion, the previous claim history, driving record, education level,etc.  and their rates will vary based on these factors. So….shopping around can be a benefit , but to do it effectively, you need to clear up any errors in the data insurers will see in your record “Before” you contact them.

Do this legwork and you should get the most accurate, up to date quote on car insurance that you can possibly hope for.  Good luck in your quest.

 

Pa Auto Insurance, Give Me the Minimum Please

August 11, 2009 in bodily injury liability, bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, pa auto insurance, pennsylvania auto insurance, property damage liability

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance, Give me the Minimum !

By: R Daniel Williams Jr

 

Too many times I hear the line “Just give me what the state requires” Undoubtedly, you’ve never uttered those words to your agent. Or have you ?  Being a little more aware of what the state of Pennsylvania requirements are for auto insurance might help you understand how miserably underinsured many Pa drivers are and why you don’t want into that elusive group.

Pa. has three very simple required coverages to insure your automobile and remain legal to operate and register that vehicle:

ü  Bodily Injury Liability- required limits of $15,000 per person and $30,000 each accident

ü  Property Damage Liability- required limit of $5,000

ü  Medical Expense- required limit of $5,000

 

Do you understand what bodily injury liability is ?  It’s the coverage that will be used to satisfy a legal judgment or claim settlement which has been brought against you after you’ve been proven to have contributed to a third party’s injury due to your negligence.  Considering the average bodily injury claim for a broken arm is approaching upwards of $20-30,000 you may agree that carrying the state required limit could put you in jeopardy in the case of an accident that involves any injuries at all.  This also applies to any injuries caused by someone else operating your vehicle. The insurance follows the vehicle in Pennsylvania.

 

How about property damage ? That’s an easy one, you damaged my car, my house, my bike, my mailbox with your car and I want it fixed.  God forbid you damage my wife’s Expedition and only carry the Pa required minimum of $5,000.  Next course of action will be that my insurance company will take care of me and then begin to recoup their expenses from you. Well, your insurer has already paid the maximum of $5000 now someone wants you to pay the other $15,000. Unfortunately for you, these companies have a system for collecting that involves revoking your driving privileges until restitution has been paid. Again, carrying the state minimum probably would have been a bad choice.

 

Medical expense is simple, the car insurance is primary your major medical is secondary. If you’ve got good health insurance, no need to be overly concerned about carrying increased limits on medical expense. If you do not carry health insurance you certainly should discuss carrying a much higher limit on your auto policy. Limits are available up to $100,000 and another 1 million in catastrophic expense. For a relatively few dollars this coverage could literally be a life saver in your time of need.

 

Keep in mind that the courts of the commonwealth have a history of rulings based on what a “reasonable and prudent” person would do. That relates to choosing limits of liability that correspond more closely to your net worth than limits that are at the bottom of the barrel.  Speaking with a credible, trusted advisor would be a good first step in choosing pennsylvania auto insurance coverage that won’t leave you stranded in your time of need.