Misconception #1: Underinsurance is a fancy insurance industry term and doesn’t really apply to me if I have an accident. Usually wrong! Underinsurance is very important to anyone who has been involved in a car crash, whether passenger or operator. It offers protection if the offending vehicle does not have enough liability coverages.
Misconception #2: Even if I don’t ask for it, my insurance carrier has to include underinsurance coverage in my auto insurance policy.Wrong!Underinsurance is frequently confused with uninsured coverage. Uninsured coverage is required but underinsured coverage is optional in New York State.
Misconception #3: If a family member is involved in an accident while away from home, underinsurance coverage does not apply. Wrong.A good example of this is a college student away from home involved in a car crash. If the student is a resident of the household, there will likely be coverage.
Misconception #4: As long as this coverage is listed on an auto insurance policy, no notice is required to the insurance company providing such coverage. WrongAlmost all policies require that the insured give notice of an intention to file a claim for underinsured benefits. Failure to timely do so could operate to forfeit any valid claim for coverage.
Misconception #5: The cost of underinsured coverage is generally very costly and therefore unaffordable. Wrong! In fact, the coverage is relatively low compared to other auto liability coverages and collision.
Misconception #6: Even if I am involved in an auto accident, surely someone from my carrier or my insurance agent will suggest that I file a notice of claim. Wrong!Generally, insurance agents or carriers make no such recommendation. You will need the skill and experience of an attorney to be correctly advised.
Misconception #7: Even if I have underinsured coverages, I don’t really have to have high limits to protect myself and my family. Usually wrong! These days, there are quite a few operators of vehicles carrying minimum liability coverage of $25,000.00. Think of how many injuries caused by car crashes involve more than $25,000.00 worth of injuries!
Misconception #8: If a notice of claim is timely filed for underinsurance benefits, a formal hearing is always required. Generally not.Oftentimes, a notice of claim is filed for protection of the claim. Often, a formal arbitration proceeding is not required and the claim ultimately is settled.
Misconception #9: If an underinsured claim is made, this can be done generally without the counsel and aid of an experienced injury attorney. Usually wrong! There are a considerable number of other rules and regulations that must be carefully followed to make and prevail on any such claim. Getting prompt legal advice is essential.
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Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice.
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