I am missing work because of my injuries, what should I do?

December 30, 2012 in bodily injury, bodily injury insurance, bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, Personal Injury insurance bradford, personal injury protection, work loss benefits, work loss coverage

In Pennsylvania car insurance, optional insurance coverage is available that can help you if you are injured in an auto accident and have to miss days of work. This coverage is a part of no fault insurance known as income loss coverage or first party benefit. It is an aspect of no fault insurance coverage because your policy will pay for your income loss regardless of who is at fault in the accident In this case, the term “first party” refers to you and your passengers, if any.

This optional coverage provides up to 80% of actual gross income that is lost by you or another person covered by your policy due to accident-related injuries. It can also help cover any special medical-related assistance that you may need in order to continue working. The coverage is available at limits of up to $2,500 per month and $50,000 per incident. Some forms of work loss insurance coverage can be used to raise the limits of lost income coverage you have under another portion of your policy (such as your PIP coverage).

Work loss insurance is sometimes also referred to as optional basic economic loss or OBEL.

What happens if I don’t have work loss coverage?

Unless you have the issue of lost wages covered under a different portion of your car insurance policy, without work loss insurance coverage you won’t be able to file a claim with your insurance company for income lost due to injuries sustained in an auto accident.

How much work loss coverage should I buy?

This can vary from state to state and from carrier to carrier. It is typical to purchase $25,000 in coverage. However, higher amounts can be purchased – as much as $50,000 or $100,000. It will really depend on how high your income is and how much you stand to lose if you cannot work, due to injuries. You have to determine how much you can afford and are willing to add to your existing car insurance policy.
When you purchase income loss coverage, it will be available to any person injured in your vehicle due to an accident. Like any other insurance policy, there is a limit to what work loss coverage will pay. While most policies will pay up to 80% of the insured’s work income, some carriers pay a smaller percentage. The percentage you qualify is determined by your income level. Your insurance carrier will only pay up to the limit of your policy. Three different limits are usually available:

PER MONTH PER PERSON

TOTAL PER PERSON

$1,000 $5,000
$1,500 $25,000
$2,500 $50,000

What does work loss insurance cover?

Certain eligibility requirements must be met in order to claim work loss benefits. The insured driver must actually be employed and earning income in order to get compensation for lost wages. If the driver is unemployed at the time of the accident, they may find it difficult to claim work loss benefits.

With work loss coverage, the insured drivers have more control over how their monetary benefits are disbursed. In other types of insurance coverage, medical providers are paid as the bills are received by the car insurance company. Work loss coverage is often a weekly benefit paid to you and can be used for personal expenses, medical bills, therapy, or for anything you need.

How do I decide if I should buy work loss coverage?

This will depend entirely on your personal financial situation. If you have a low salary and live paycheck to paycheck, work loss coverage can help you survive while your injuries prevent you from going back to work.

If you are the main income earner of your household, not earning wages can be a real setback to your whole family. Work loss coverage will be able to keep you afloat until you can get back to work and earning money.

Those with larger salaries may find that work loss coverage is not worth the high monthly insurance premium. Setting up a savings account with up to six months of income invested in it may be a better option for protecting against lost wages in the event that you get injured in an auto accident.

There are other types of car insurance, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and medical payments coverage that may pay out for lost wages. If you have another policy that covers lost wages, it may be redundant to also purchase work loss coverage. However, work loss coverage can sometimes be used after claiming PIP or other benefits, enabling the insured to get compensation for a longer period of time.

 

I’ve been in an accident, who pays for my car repairs?

December 22, 2012 in auto insurance bradford, auto insurance bradford pa, bradford, Bradford PA, Bradford PA LICA, car insurance, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, collision insurance, deductible

If your vehicle is damaged in an auto accident, either your Pennsylvania car insurance company or another driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying at least some of the repair cost. In order to make sure that your car is taken care of, certain steps need to be followed.

The first step is filing a police report

The first thing you do when you are involved in an accident is to call the police. The police will question you and complete a police report, which your insurance company will use to make their decision regarding your claim. You should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or drivers, and take photos of the accident scene. Also get the license plate numbers and driver’s license numbers of others involved in the accident, as well as the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.

Insurance Coverage Depends on Who is at Fault

Your collision insurance will pay for damages to your vehicle and your liability insurance will pay for damages to the other driver’s vehicle, if the accident was your fault. The coverage will extend to the limits of your policy, after you pay your deductible. If the other driver was at fault, their liability insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle. If you have carry no-fault insurance, then your insurance company will pay to repair the damage to your vehicle, regardless of fault.

Establishing Your Claim

After you file a claim, your insurance company will send a claims adjuster to inspect your vehicle or they may send you to a company-approved repair shop. Depending on your collision coverage and the severity of the damage to your vehicle, your policy may pay the entire cost to restore your vehicle to the condition it was before the accident, or you may be responsible for a portion of the bill. You will need to pay your deductible before your insurance coverage takes effect. If the damage is severe enough, however, the adjuster may declare your vehicle “a total loss.” In this case, you may receive a check for the market value of the vehicle, or for the cost of buying a new vehicle (depending on the terms of your policy).

Rental Reimbursement Coverage

While your vehicle is being repaired, you can have access to a rental car if you carry rental reimbursement coverage. This optional coverage will become vital in the event your car has extensive damage and you do not have a back-up vehicle to drive while the repairs are being made. If the accident was not your fault, then the at-fault driver’s insurance company will provide you with a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop.

Driving Without Insurance

Pa Automobile insurance is mandatory. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, you will have to pay a minimum fine of $300. Your car’s registration and your driver’s license will be suspended for three months. After three months, you will be charged a $50 fee to restore your car’s registration and another $50 to get your license back.

I’ve been in an accident and I don’t understand my car insurance. What am I entitled to receive?

December 13, 2012 in bodily injury, bodily injury liability, bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, collision, collision coverage, comprehensive, comprehensive insurance, full tort, funeral benefit, limited tort, medical benefits, property damage liability, underinsured motorists, uninsured motorists, uninsured/underinsured motorists

In the event of an accident, you have several different possibilities that can come into play. In Pennsylvania car insurance, there are certain state required coverages and also optional coverages that may be included in your vehicle policy.

 

Pennsylvania’s required coverages

 

Bodily Injury Liability — If you are the at-fault driver in an accident, this coverage will pay the medical and rehabilitation expenses for anyone injured in the accident, and any damages for which you are found liable. The minimum limit is $15,000/$30,000. The $15,000 pays for injuries to one person, while the $30,000 represents the total available for one accident. This is a minimum amount; it is recommended that you carry at least 100,000/300,000.

 

Medical Benefits — This coverage pays the medical bills for you and others who are covered by your policy, regardless of fault. The minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage, but higher limits are recommended.

 

Property Damage Liability — This coverage will pay if you are the at-fault driver and you damage someone’s property in an accident. The minimum limit is $5,000 of coverage.

 

Limited or Full Tort — You can choose to have full or limited tort coverage. Limited tort coverage will save you money on your premiums. You will still be able to recover all out-of-pocket medical and other expenses in the event that you win a court case; however, you will not be able to recover certain damages – such as payments for pain and suffering – unless the injuries meet one of the exceptions to limited tort defined in the Pennsylvania Code. With full tort coverage, your rights are unrestricted in the event that you bring suit against the negligent party in the event of an accident.

Pennsylvania ’s optional coverages

 

In addition to the required coverages detailed above, automobile insurance companies offer a variety of optional coverages which include:

 

Uninsured Motorist (UM) — This option covers you, your family, and your passengers for bodily injury if you are involved in an accident caused by an at-fault uninsured motorist.

 

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) — This option covers you, your family, and your passengers for bodily injury if you are involved in an accident caused by an at-fault uninsured motorist who does not have enough insurance to cover your claim.

 

Funeral Benefit — The funeral benefit will pay up to a certain dollar amount for funeral expenses if you or a family member dies as a result of an auto accident.

 

Income Loss — If you are involved in an accident and unable to work due to injuries, this coverage will pay a portion of your lost wages.

 

Collision — Collision coverage pays the cost of repairing the damage to your car due to an accident. Most banks or lenders require you to carry collision coverage in order to receive a car loan. A $500 deductible is standard, unless you request a lower amount. However, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be.

 

Comprehensive — Comprehensive insurance covers theft or damage to your car from hazards such as fire, flood, vandalism, or a collision with an animal. Like collision coverage, most banks or lenders require this coverage if you have a car loan.

 

 

What’s the difference between comprehensive and collision coverage?

December 6, 2012 in auto insurance bradford, auto insurance bradford pa, bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, collision, collision insurance, collision insurance bradford, comprehensive, comprehensive coverage, deductible, liability insurance

People often confuse these two types of Pennsylvania automobile coverage. Simply put, collision insurance coverage pays to repair the damage done to your vehicle in an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car that does not come from an automobile accident.

Collision Coverage

While liability insurance is required in most states, collision insurance coverage is optional. You don’t have to buy this coverage, but without it, you will have to pay the entire cost to repair your vehicle. If your vehicle is a total loss due to an accident, then the cost to you would include a new car plus the expense of paying off the loan on the totaled car, if it was financed. Most finance companies require that you carry collision coverage when you finance the purchase a new car.

Collision insurance comes with what’s called a deductible. The deductible is the amount of money that you need to spend out of pocket, before your collision coverage takes effect. When you are in an accident, you will need to file a claim and have the car examined by a mechanic. You’ll get an estimate for repairs; subtract the amount of your deductible, and the remainder of the cost will be paid by your insurance company. For instance, if the repair estimate is $1700 and you have a $500 deductible, then once you pay the first $500, the insurance company will pay the remaining $1200 to have your car repaired.

Generally, the higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. The premium is the amount that you pay for collision insurance coverage. While opting-out of collision insurance may look like a good savings on paper, the short-term savings are not worth the risk in today’s market. Cars are a major financial investment and accident repairs can be prohibitively expensive. When deciding on what type of collision coverage you will purchase, you should take into account how high a deductible you can afford, and the age of your vehicle. In the event your car is a total loss, collision insurance will pay you the current “Blue Book” value of the car, not what it will cost you to replace it. The older the car, the lower the Blue Book value will be. Any car that has a Blue Book value over $4000 should have collision coverage. Once the Blue Book value of the car drops below $4000, it may be cheaper to purchase a new car, rather than pay the cost of the collision insurance premiums and repairs in the event of an accident.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive insurance will protect your car against the automotive version of Murphy’s Law, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” This includes acts of nature and other calamities such as:

  • Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes.
  • Fire.
  • Theft and vandalism.
  • Falling objects.
  • Collisions with animals, such as hitting a deer.
  • Breakage of glass, this includes replacement of your windshield.
  • Hail, water, or flood.

The actual events that are covered can vary from carrier to carrier, so you need to check with your insurance agent to find out the specific coverage for your policy.

Why do I need it?

Like collision insurance, comprehensive insurance coverage is optional, not mandatory. The exception may be if your car is new, still financed, or leased. In those cases, the lender or leasing company may require that you carry comprehensive insurance coverage. Even if it is not mandatory in most cases, the need for it is obvious. Without comprehensive insurance coverage, any and all damage done to your vehicle, from a ding in the windshield to complete loss from a falling tree, is completely your financial burden. This could end up being thousands of dollars out of your pocket. Having comprehensive coverage relieves you of that worry and unplanned expense.

Like collision insurance, comprehensive coverage includes a deductible. The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium will be. The premium is the amount that you pay for the coverage. Your deductible can range from $0 to $5000 or more. A higher deductible will cost you less in premiums, making it a very appealing option. However, in the event of an accident, that high deductible can put a substantial dent in your pocketbook. The deductible must always be paid first, before the comprehensive insurance coverage will kick in to pay the balance.