Hi, my name is Kenneth Berger, and I wanted to make a Lawyer's Guide to Buying Insurance. The reason I wanted to do this is because so often we see what happens when people think they have quote-unquote full coverage only to find out that they don't have enough insurance coverage to properly protect themselves and their families.
So, most of the time, when people are thinking about buying insurance coverage, the first thing they think about is liability coverage. Ok? And they think about - my goodness, I don't want to get sued if I run into somebody. I don't want to get sued if something happens at my home or apartment. So, they'll load up on liability coverage, right? They'll get $100,000 or $250,000 or a half million, and they'll worry about umbrella policies, and they'll be very very interested in protecting themselves from a lawsuit. The fact of the matter is, you're probably not ever going to need liability limits that large. Now, you might, and if you do, I certainly recommend having them. I tell everyone, "Get as much liability coverage as you can afford on your home, on your apartment, on your autos, have liability coverage." The only thing is, is that in addition to having liability coverage because you want to protect yourself and your assets from a lawsuit, and in turn, protect other people, we also want to make sure that you've got uninsured coverage and underinsured coverage up to the limits of your liability policy.
Uninsured coverage is exactly what it sounds like. It's if someone who is uninsured causes you or people in your vehicle or at your home, harm. Ok? And, again I would say, if you care enough about your property, your assets, and strangers to have a lot of liability coverage, please show enough self-care to have uninsured coverage at the same limits. And the same goes for underinsured coverage.
What is Underinsured Coverage?
What underinsured coverage is, that means that someone causes you harm - runs into the back of you or blows a red light, whatever it may be - and they've got insurance coverage. The problem is they don't have nearly enough insurance coverage to provide for all the losses that were incurred. They may have a minimum limits policy, and y’all may have a couple, few hundred thousand dollars in medical bills. The best and cheapest way to make sure that you and your family and the people that ride with you are protected is through underinsured coverage. So, however much liability coverage you have to protect other people, make sure you've got the same amount of uninsured and underinsured to protect yourself, and the people who get in the car with you. Alright?
Now another thing you can do is, there's a part of your policy that's known as PIP - personal injury protection - or sometimes it's called MedPay - medical payment expense coverage, and insurance agents, for whatever reason, a lot of them don't tell you that you can get large PIP or MedPay policies, but you can. You can get them for cheap. What these policies are in place for is your out-of-pocket expenses. So again, if someone causes you harm, and you miss a couple of weeks of work, or you've got a few thousand dollars or more in out-of-pocket expenses, your personal injury protection - and you can get it I believe in South Carolina now up to $50,000. It's not very expensive, and that can kick in on personal injury protection, that can kick in to pay your out-of-pocket, and to pay your lost wages until you get a recovery from the other person's insurance company, or from your own underinsured carrier.
Same with MedPay. MedPay on a homeowner's policy, MedPay on a renter’s policy, MedPay on a vehicle. MedPay coverage can help pay for all your co-pays while you're waiting to potentially get some other settlement, and it provides those same protections to passengers and to people visiting your home. It's a no-fault policy, and as our South Carolina personal injury lawyer puts it, no matter who's at fault, it's a way for out-of-pocket medical bills and lost earnings to get covered.
So, the next time someone tells you, "Look, you've got full coverage," it might not be as full as it sounds. That cup may only be half full, and really for the purposes of our discussion, half empty. So, make sure, however much liability you've got, you've got the same amount of uninsured, you've got the same amount of underinsured, and you get as much PIP and MedPay as you possibly can. That's a cheap easy way to protect yourself, your family, and anyone else who gets in your vehicle. So, that's a quick lawyer's guide to buying insurance, I hope you use this. It's an added protection for yourself and the people you care about. Hopefully, you'll never need it, but if you do, you're protected.