You may think having vehicle insurance is nice to have when in reality it’s a must-have. No one ever plans to be in a car accident. Yet, if you are it won’t just affect you.
Would you know what to do if you were in a car accident? What if your car accident involved passenger injuries? How would you take care of their medical payments?
Knowing what to do in this type of situation can make all the difference. Having the right level of coverage on your car insurance policy is key. When it comes to vehicle insurance, you have options.
If you are looking to understand your car insurance policy better, this article is for you. Here is what you need to know about how your auto insurance would cover passenger injuries.
North Carolina Car Insurance Policy
To ensure coverage for your passenger injuries in North Carolina, there are a few things to understand. The first step to getting a car insurance policy is your vehicle registration needs to be valid for North Carolina.
This is a requirement by state law and you must get your insurance from a licensed insurance broker. Having an out of state car insurance policy is not accepted.
By law, you must carry continuous liability coverage. If you do not, there are fines and fees you may have to pay. Additionally, if you were involved in an accident and didn’t have any insurance, you would have to take care of your passenger injuries out of pocket.
If, for any reason, your car insurance policy is canceled or your coverage lapses, you must notify N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. If you want to cancel your insurance, you must surrender your plates to N.C. DMV first.
Seeing how a North Carolina car insurance policy works will help you understand how your passenger injuries will be covered.
Types of Vehicle Insurance Coverage
There are many types of coverage options for your North Carolina car insurance policy. Some coverages are optional, some are required.
For example, you have to have bodily injury and property damage coverage. While you are able to select your limits of liability, the state of North Carolina does have a minimum level of insurance you must carry.
In North Carolina, the minimum liability insurance is $30,000 of bodily injury coverage or $60,000 total bodily injury for all persons in a single accident.
What Coverage Pays for Passenger Injuries?
If you were at fault in an accident, your passenger injuries are typically covered by bodily injury liability insurance. Bodily injury liability coverage is always going to be for people other than you.
Another coverage that would help take care of your passenger injuries is Medical Payments also known as Med Pay. Medical Payments would help you pay for your passenger’s medical expenses.
This is regardless of who is at fault. The other coverage that would help pay for your passenger injuries is Personal Injury Protection or PIP. PIP covers everything that Med Pay covers in addition to lost wages and services.
For instance, if your passenger’s injuries caused them to miss work for a month, PIP would take care of their wages up to the coverage limits. It is important to note that Med Pay and PIP are not required in North Carolina.
But, it is highly recommended that you have these coverages on your car insurance policy. This will ensure you and your passengers are fully protected in the event of a car accident.
Med Pay can provide anywhere between $1000 to $2000 worth of coverage. You also have the option to buy additional Med Pay coverage up to $100,000.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Car Insurance Policy
When you are shopping for a car insurance policy there are a few things you want to consider. You should know what levels of insurance you are minimally required to have. Again, in North Carolina, those limits are 30/60/25.
This means $30,000 for bodily injury for one person, $60,000 total for bodily injuries for all persons in the accident, and $25,000 for property damage. You should consider your financial situation when selecting your limits. If you are someone who has assets, it is recommended that you car higher limits of liability.
This is also true if you don’t have assets. If you cannot afford to pay any out of pocket expenses if you were involved in a car accident, other than your deductible, you should carry higher limits.
Another thing to consider when shopping for insurance is to understand the coverages in your car insurance policy. Speaking with a local insurance agent can help you gain knowledge about what each coverage is and how they protect you.
It’s best to shop around or find an insurance agent who represents multiple carriers. They can do auto quote comparisons for you helping you save time and money.
Before you decide to go with a specific insurer, you want to do your research about their claims process. You want to ensure they are reliable. Checking them through AM Best is a great place to start.
As a final consideration, you want to make sure to review your policy. Make sure you have the proper coverages to take care of you and your passenger injuries if you were in an accident.
Need Help With Your Vehicle Insurance?
In the state of North Carolina, you are required to have insurance. Having the proper coverage for you and your passenger injuries can make all the difference. If you need help understanding your vehicle insurance options, contact us today to get a free quote!