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Are you covered by your insurance?

The phrase “motor vehicle accident” may call to mind a two-car fender bender or multi-vehicle pileup for most people. However, according to insurance industry experts, less than half of all the accidents on the road involve two cars. Many others involve cyclists or pedestrians, poor road conditions, animals in the road or “acts of nature” such as a falling tree, lightning strike or hail.

When one car smashes into another, determining who was fault may be very straightforward. Insurance companies will typically assess who was responsible and pay out claims accordingly. But how do you file a claim against a falling tree? Will your insurance cover your property damage and injuries?

Many people assume that paying for insurance every month means they will be covered no matter what happens. But some policies are strict about what they’ll cover and not all will cover the damage that you’re most likely to run into on a day-to-day basis. It is important to read your insurance policy thoroughly and consider consulting an expert if you have questions about coverage.

While it may seem like your insurance adjuster, who will likely get in touch with you after an accident, is on your side, it is important to
remember that the insurance company’s job is to make money, not necessarily to make sure every policyholder is taken care of financially after an accident. In the event of a car wreck you will probably need to work with many different people, including insurance adjusters, any other parties in the accident or the owner of the property where the wreck occurred.

All of these people have their own agenda for handling the accident so it is important to make sure your interests are represented. Consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who can work with you and handle your case from start to finish. He or she can help you evaluate any claims you may have, communicate with your insurer and pursue any claims for damages to which you may be entitled.

Source: Boston Globe, “Does your auto insurance cover that damage?” Michelle Singletary, Feb. 17, 2013

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