When considering car insurance coverage in the state of Texas, there are three important types that you should bear in mind – personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, uninsured motorist coverage, and gap insurance.
By familiarizing yourself with these three types of insurance coverage, you are in a better position to make informed decisions are your automobile insurance policy.
Personal Injury Protection Benefits
PIP benefits represent an extension of automobile coverage that is available in some states. Personal injury protection benefits, PIP benefits, are also known in some quarters as no-fault coverage. PIP benefits are designed to pay regardless of an allegation of fault or legal liability. PIP benefits typically arise out of an injury accident where you or the driver of the car you are in carrying PIP coverage.
A claim for PIP benefits typically is made against a person’s own insurance company. This is the case even if another party is deemed to be at fault for causing the car accident. There are some exceptions to the general process of filing against an individual’s own insurance company. For example, if the person desiring to make a claim does not own an automobile, filing a claim against his or her own company would be impossible. If you are a passenger in an accident, the driver may carry PIP on the vehicle, and if so, you may be covered.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist insurance coverage is included in Texas auto policies unless rejected. The policy provision provides a person coverage in the event an uninsured driver causes an automobile accident or if you are in a serious injury accident and the responsible party does not have enough insurance to cover your damages.
If an accident occurs, an injured person files a claim for uninsured motorist coverage and compensation with his or her insurance carrier. Technically, the insurance company pays the difference between what an uninsured driver can or does pay towards compensation for damages and what the injured person would be entitled to if insurance coverage existed.
Unfortunately, Texas court rulings have given the insurance companies the upper hand by ruling carriers do not have the obligations to pay until after a verdict in a trial. The requirement of an actual verdict has led to an unconscionable situation where insurance companies routinely force an unnecessary lawsuit just because they can. Worse is that the carriers are allowed to use in-house attorneys to reduce their expenses while running up the costs to their insureds. No doubt the consumer is being taken advantage of with this unfair situation. Many states police the insurance companies by allowing bad faith claims, Texas, however, has largely sided with insurance companies and the campaign contributions keep flowing.
Guaranteed Auto Protection insurance, or GAP insurance, is a creation of the financial industry in the United States. GAP insurance provides compensation in the event of an accident for the difference between the actual cash value of a motor vehicle and the amount of money still owed on a loan or lease.
Often, in the aftermath of an accident, a determination is made that a vehicle is underwater regarding its actual cash value and the outstanding balance on a loan or lease. GAP insurance coverage provides compensation to the lender or leasing company to cover the “gap” that exists between the cash value of the vehicle and the cash settlement associated with an accident.
A skilled, experienced automobile accident lawyer can provide you more information about available insurance coverage in the aftermath of an accident. Call a seasoned car accident professional at the Reyes Browne Reilley law firm today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.