AQ wrote:Happy Mother’s Day!
DW was involved in a parking lot car accident last week. Guess a good time to revisit the car insurance issue. Hope getting your inputs on a range of questions below:
1. A simple parking lot accident. We called the police. But when he came, the policeman didn't bother asking our license, or what happened, or issued any ticket to either party. He said parking lots are private properties not governed by traffic law. Guess he’s right? We’re in California.
2. We called our insurance company to report the accident. As a boglehead, we bought a high deductible policy so don’t expect to get any payment since the car body damage is minimal (just some scratch and paint problems). But we are concerned if the other party would claim against our policy, though he didn’t claim any injury on the spot. Is this a right way to do to report to the insurance company even though both sides consider a very minor accident? The agent told us an adjuster would call us later. Not sure what to expect. Any general advice for this type of accident.
3. I took our policy. Currently we have 500K bodily injury coverage, 50 K property, but no medical payment coverage. Two questions here: do you think this is about right, or should I increase this further?
4. I got a bit confused about medical payment insurance. I didn’t buy it because I assumed: if I were injured, my health plan pays it. If my passengers got hurt, the bodily injury coverage pays it either from my policy (if I were at fault), or the other driver (if he/she were at fault). Is this true? What if the other driver were at fault, but he/she didn’t have coverage, would my passengers have any legal grounds suing me then? In this hypothetical case that I were not at fault, would my insurance refuse to pay and I were left defending on my own? If so, what could I do today to help in this type of situations?
1. Presumably the officer knew what he was talking about.
2. You did the right thing reporting the incident to your insurer. Who knows whether or when the other party might claim some sort of injury?
3. I would suggest asking your insurer to quote an umbrella liability policy for you. It's probably going to be pretty cheap. Simply raising your auto PD coverage to 500k is also probably going to be inexpensive.
4. Med pay coverage is inexpensive and worthwhile. It's broader than your medical insurance in some ways and has no deductible. We carry $10,000 limits for med pay. We also buy uninsured motorists coverage for the same limits as our auto BI limits. It isn't expensive.
Good luck to you, and happy Mother's Day!
Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions.
Frank Lloyd Wright, architect (1867-1959)