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What are the “Big 3” Coverages You Need on Your Auto Insurance Policy for a Safe Summer Road Trip?

Dreaming of a great summer road trip in Colorado or even across America? Maybe you already have it on your calendar, and maybe it is just a brilliant idea you have been thinking about over the winter. The bottom line is that when you leave your driveway and head out, you need to be prepared for adventure, including unpleasant surprises that might come your way. At Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, our personal injury lawyers in Boulder, Colorado, have seen the best and the worst when it comes to planning a summer road trip. We hope that this article can help you keep you and your family safe as summer gets underway and adventure beckons us to explore the country. If you have any questions while reading it, please call us for a free consultation at 303-543-1000, and we would be happy to sit down with you and your family to review your coverage.

The “Big 3” – Liability, UM/UIM, and Medical Payments Coverage

One of the easiest ways to ensure you are adequately covered in the event of a car accident is to make sure you are “fully covered” in the event of a serious accident. In the eyes of a Boulder personal injury attorney, this means that as far as bodily injury is concerned, you have the “Big 3” insurance coverages: 1) sufficient liability, 2) uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage, and 3) medical payments coverage.

Liability Coverage Basics

Liability coverage will protect your assets in the event you cause an accident and hurt someone else. Quite simply, if you have assets you want to make sure that you have liability coverage at least in the amount of those assets. For example, if you have a home with $250,000 in equity, you should be looking at an umbrella policy with 7 figures in coverage. If you don’t, and you end up seriously hurting someone, a savvy injury attorney will likely find a way to go after your personal assets, potentially including your home.

UM/UIM Coverage Basics

It is perhaps most essential to also make sure you have enough UM/UIM coverage, which is what protects you in the event you are hurt by a careless or negligent driver with either no liability insurance or who has low limits insufficient to cover injuries to you or your family. Remember, while accidents are of course caused by drivers from all types of socio-economic backgrounds, accidents are usually caused by irresponsible drivers with no assets and little incentive to have high liability insurance limits. The way to protect yourself from these types of drivers is to get as much UM/UIM coverage as you can afford, which is basically insurance you buy and that kicks in for the shortcomings of the at-fault driver. As with all coverage, at Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, we recommend that drivers get as much UM/UIM insurance as they can afford, even looking to see if your carrier has a UM/UIM umbrella policy that would provide you with 7 figures in coverage in the event of a catastrophic accident.

When summer road trips are concerned, UM/UIM is great for many reasons. For example, it is portable, meaning that you are covered if you are driving someone else’s car. Depending on your policy, UM/UIM coverage may also provide you coverage if you are hit by a vehicle while on your bicycle, and maybe even if you are a pedestrian. This coverage can be quite versatile, and it is important that you understand the scope of your UM/UIM coverage before you leave town.

Medical Payment Coverage Basics

Medical Payment coverage, often referred to in the legal world as “Med Pay,” is coverage you can buy that covers accident-related medical bills up to the amount of your Med Pay limits. For example, if you have $10,000 in Med Pay coverage, you can usually use this to pay for out-of-network coverage that you may need while you are away from home. Many, but not all, Med Pay policies will allow you to put your Med Pay towards your health insurance deductible, which can be helpful and reduce stress if you find yourself in an out-of-state hospital, for example. Even if your Med Pay does not go to your deductible, you may be able to use it for treatment that is traditionally outside of your health insurance coverage, such as chiropractic, massages, or acupuncture. The beauty of Med Pay coverage is that it is also available for use regardless of whether you are at fault for causing your accident. So if you end up having to get treatment for an injury that was caused by your bad driving, Med Pay coverage should be available to you.

Amounts of Coverage

A good Boulder personal injury lawyer will always advise you to purchase as much coverage as you can afford. At Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, we follow this principle, and we would be happy to speak with you about your policy and coverages before you embark on your summer road trip. Call us today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation with one of your experienced attorneys.

Client Reviews
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“I was rear ended by a driver on his cell phone. I started with another attorney, but was not receiving adequate attention to my case. I switched to Brian and everything changed. He was attentive to my situation, listened to all I had to say, and worked to resolve my case in a timely fashion. He continued to communicate and touch base even during slow parts of the process. After the settlement was resolved, he has still reached out to check in on my health and well being. I would highly recommend Brian Bradford as a lawyer.” Randy
★★★★★
“A driver trying to get away from the police ran a red light and broadsided my car. My injuries affected me physically, emotionally and organizationally. Hiring Steve Cook allowed me to focus on healing while ALL the legal Issues were effectively handled by his firm. Steve's patience, honest, determination. competence and experienced evaluation of my case resulted in a great settlement without having to go to trial.” Shirley
★★★★★
“I was injured in a car accident and I was having a hard time getting much of a response from the insurance companies. I never thought I would resort to calling an attorney, but I am so happy that I did, and that Jason Levy was that attorney. He was respectful, knowledgeable, and kind. When I was healing from major surgery, he arranged for my deposition to take place all the way out in Harford County, at a library near my home, rather than having me come into the city. He was also very persistent with the other driver's insurance company, finally negotiating an excellent settlement” Kate