One of the first things that we hear from new callers and potential clients is, “I had full coverage”. There is a misconception when it comes to auto insurance and the amount of coverage that is really in place when people talk “full.” There are typically more gaps in insurance coverage than people are aware of. In truth, if you purchased all of the options available to you, you would still not have what you believe to be full coverage on your vehicle.
The requirements for auto insurance in North Carolina are similar to those found in other states. A driver must carry $30,000 Bodily Injury for each person, $60,000 Bodily Injury for all persons, and $25,000 Property Damage coverage. A vehicle owner may choose to carry more insurance, but must at least meet these minimum requirements. Let’s take a look at what these minimums really mean.
When you carry the minimum of $30,000 for Bodily Injury per person, it means that insurance will cover the costs of medical care for an injured person up to $30,000. If multiple people are injured, the insurance company will pay no more than $60,000 for medical costs.
It is unusual for a vehicle collision to result in no property damage. When you are involved in a car accident, chances are high that at least one of the vehicles will be damaged. When you carry the state minimum of $25,000, it means that any damage you cause to another vehicle or structure will be covered up to that amount. It’s important to note that this coverage does not apply to damage to your own vehicle.
This is what “full coverage” gets you in North Carolina. Now that you know exactly what these terms mean, it’s easier to see how you could be on the hook for paying out of your own pocket after a vehicle accident.
For example, say that you are in a serious car crash. Your vehicle is totaled and so is the other. There are four occupants in the other vehicle, and each of those occupants experiences serious injury. You have the minimum auto insurance coverage required by law, and you are found at-fault. Your insurance will pay up to $60,000 for the injuries sustained by the occupants of the other vehicle, and the damage to the other vehicle will be covered.
What won’t be covered are your own injuries and the cost of replacing your vehicle. If the victims’ medical bills total more than $60,000, you can be sued for the remaining balance and more. This is why it can be beneficial to speak with your insurance agent about purchasing additional coverage that may protect you further should you be involved in an accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Charlotte, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and property damage. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We are here for you and your family as you begin to move forward with your lives.