Are you covered?

As consumers, we read countless customer reviews before making even the most trivial purchases, yet many of us don’t think twice about buying insurance without any real understanding of the protection it provides—or doesn’t provide. At MacPherson Law, LLC, we are disheartened by the number of our clients who discover after an accident that they do not have the coverage they thought they did. At times, this lack of coverage can leave the client with less than full compensation for his or her injuries. It’s difficult to pinpoint the cause of this mistake-- whether the insurance agent is not fully informing their insured or whether the insured is failing to ask the right questions. Regardless, any busy personal injury attorney out there would agree that there is a lapse in communication leaving consumers uninformed about their insurance.

Just as you do periodic check-ups with other service providers (i.e. doctors, dentists, accountants), it is a good idea to call your insurance agent periodically and inquire about any potential gaps you may have in coverage. Keep in mind that your insurance needs may change with changes in your household, income, health insurance coverage and employment. Any agent worth his or her weight will be more than willing to discuss your options at length to ensure you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your family.

From a practical standpoint, I would be remiss to not at least point out a couple of the areas of inadequate coverage that we commonly see with our clients. The most common mistake is buying little or no underinsured motorist coverage. Knowing that many drivers on the road (especially high risk drivers) carry only the Missouri minimum coverage of $25,000, it is wise to carry “UIM” coverage which can help compensate you or your family for any additional accident related damages that exceed the coverage available from the at-fault driver. Medical payments coverage is another good and inexpensive add-on that many consumers overlook. This coverage which reimburses the insured for accident related medical expenses, often pays as soon as the costs are incurred (not months or years later at the time of settlement), and applies whether or not the accident was your fault. Ultimately, your insurance should not just protect you in the event you cause injury to someone else; it should protect you and your family in the event someone else causes injury to you too.

Of course, consumers should understand that the old adage, “you get what you pay for” applies to auto insurance just like everything else. Make sure that you fully understand what you are getting in exchange for that monthly premium, and when in doubt, read the policy first before committing to a company. To view policies from most of the major automobile insurance companies doing business in Missouri, visit this site: http://insurance.mo.gov/consumers/auto/auto_policies.php

If you have been in an accident and have questions about what insurance coverage may be available to you or your loved ones, contact MacPherson Law to schedule a complimentary consultation. Just as all insurance companies are not created equal, neither are personal injury attorneys. Call today to find out what sets us apart from the others.