Auto insurance is one area of the industry which tends to raise many people’s emotional level. It was not always this way but with the ever increasing premiums, automobile insurance tends to raise levels of frustration, anger and resentment, Memphis car insurance is no different. When policyholders receive their bills and open them to see what they are asked to pay, these feelings of emotion are increased. What makes it increasingly so is the fact that within most states, auto insurance is mandated by state law. Because of these bills and laws making car insurance mandatory, insurance companies are not inclined to keep rates low.
The controversy over automobile insurance and the emotions it generates does not stop with the individual policyholder. The issue provokes strong responses from the insurance companies themselves who are responsible for paying claims. One of the prime targets is what the companies call “greedy lawyers” who they fault with bringing frivolous lawsuits designed to line their pockets rather than obtaining a fair settlement for their clients. The ire of insurance companies do not stop there, continuing on with rants about body shops that charge astronomical fees to repair damaged cars and the large cost of medical fees for injuries suffered in automobile accidents. On the reverse side of the issue, lawyers are equally contemptible about insurance companies and their “unfair practices” that force people to retain the services of lawyers. The argument is a vicious cycle of finger pointing and litigation with the policyholder/victim stuck in the middle.
Since Tennessee requires all residents to obtain and be insured, Memphis car insurance companies have no shortage of potential policyholders, although not everyone adheres to the prevailing laws. We are going to cover some important facts about car insurance and how understand the auto insurance business. Determining fault is often the core of litigation involving car accidents. Car insurance agents can attest to this fact. Every state has different laws governing negligence where a car accident is involved so this article will be in generalizations.
Negligence is defined as when another party causes injury to another party and is handled by the civil court systems. Not to be confused with criminal negligence. Once negligence is thought to have happened, the party accused of the act of negligence is held responsible in a civil court of law for the damages or injuries caused. There are three types of damages that can be awarded in a negligence case: punitive, special and general damages. Punitive damages are usually awarded when the guilty party intentionally engages in wrongful acts. Special damages are generally awarded to compensate injured parties for medical bills, property damage, lost wages and even funeral expenses should some one die from injuries suffered during and automobile accident. Memphis car insurance policyholders know how often this can occur with uninsured motorist driving on our roads.
The fault system is not without criticism however. Insurance companies tell us the number one reason for higher auto insurance premiums is because of the fault system and the expensive time consuming litigation involved and is major source of backed up court cases in the civil court system. The fault system can also delay payment of benefits over an extended time period which causes financial stress on both parties in legal and medical fees. Because of the prolonged litigation process involving “at fault” insurance cases, no fault is used in some cases to settle the issue and reduce the amount of litigation that ties up the court systems. Tennessee is a no-fault insurance state. As insurance premiums continue to increase, no- fault insurance is becoming more and more popular. No fault insurance is designed so that injured parties receive compensation from their own insurance companies for injuries resulting from auto accidents. In a nutshell, you insurance company is responsible for compensating you if you are injured even if it is the other parties fault. You should contact your local Memphis car insurance agent to learn more about your policy and no-fault guidelines.
In this section, we will discuss the different types of coverage. Liability coverage we will cover first since it is the most expensive and what is required by state law. Liability coverage is defined with three very different aspects: property damage, bodily injury and the cost associated with defending a lawsuit. Property damage coverage pays for negligent damage caused to another’s property or vehicle by negligent driving. Usually, the damage done is to a vehicle but this is not always the case. In some cases, a driver may lose control of their vehicle and cause damage to property such as mailboxes, fences or even houses.
Most Memphis car insurance policyholders are aware of what bodily injury coverage is but we will discuss it anyway. If your operation of your car causes someone injury, this provision is used to compensate injured parties for medical bills, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering. It should also be known that you can be held responsible if someone is killed for replacement of income that would normally be there had the person lived.
Protecting the value of your vehicle is another important part of the insurance policy. Collision and comprehensive coverage cost about one third of what the entire policy cost. Collision is usually defined as the part of the policy that pays to repair and protect your car should you be involved in an accident. The comprehensive provision of the policy covers other damages that result from other sources aside from a moving vehicle accident. These damages could come from wind, malicious mischief, animals crossing a road, riots, hail and many other factors. Anything other than moving vehicle accident is covered by the comprehensive provision in the policy. You should consult your local Memphis car insurance agent for detailed information about your collision and comprehensive coverage.
It should be noted that collision insurance is not mandated by the Tennessee stat legislature and residents of Tennessee are only required to carry liability coverage. This is so innocent people are protected should you be negligent in driving. However, not carrying a full force policy could cause substantial hardship on you and your family should you be in a moving vehicle accident that is your fault.
The uninsured motorist is another benefit provided in insurance policies. The provision is self explanatory by it’s name but covers you in the event you are unfortunate enough to become involved in a moving vehicle accident with a person that does not have Memphis auto insurance. However, the uninsured motorist provision does not cover property damage but is designed to compensate you in the case of medical injury and loss of wages.
There are other benefits available including a rental car reimbursement and towing provisions. It is best to meet with your local insurance agent to discuss these benefits and select which is best for you and your family. Having adequate coverage is very important in today’s society. With the court systems tied up with car accident cases, it is not difficult to understand why it is so important to have and maintain a Memphis car insurance policy.