- posted: May 04, 2022
- Personal Injury
Defining "Full Coverage" insurance: a term that means different things to different people.
Here at the Rockafellow Law Firm, we encounter the term “full coverage,” with regards to insurance policies, frequently. It is a term that, to our knowledge, has different meaning to different people. In Arizona, the minimum insurance required is:
- $25,000/$50,000 (per person/per incident) for bodily injury
- $15,000 property damage
This “minimum” state-required policy only pays money to those people that are injured because of the insured’s negligence. In other words, if the policyholder causes a crash and injures someone, a State-required liability-only insurance policy protects the insured’s assets up to that amount. This minimum policy does nothing to protect the insured in the event someone else causes a crash which leads to injuries. Therefore, all insurers are required to offer their insured an uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) policy, up to the limits of the liability policy, which can be purchased for an additional monthly premium.
The Rockafellow Law Firm highly encourages that all drivers include UM/ UIM insurance in their policies. This coverage protects you and your passengers in the event an uninsured or underinsured driver causes a crash with injuries. We frequently see ER visits following a crash that cost $40,000 or more, even with no fractures or surgeries. This means that even at the State-minimum limits, it is not difficult to need more than $25,000 to pay for your crash-related medical bills. An underinsured policy will pay only after the at-fault insurance policy is exhausted. An uninsured policy will pay if the at-fault driver had no insurance or fled the scene.
Finally, consumers can add-on a medical-payments (medpay) policy. This is a good addition for those who carry either no health insurance or have high-deductible health insurance plans. Medpay policies will pay for medical bills up to a certain amount (typically $5,000) for injuries received in a vehicle-related incident, regardless of fault.
What does “full coverage” mean exactly? When we ask first ask our clients about their insurance they commonly respond with “I have full coverage.” Once we dig down, it turns out that term can mean just about anything, from a minimum limits liability-only policy to a $500,000/$1,000,000 liability +UM/UIM + Medpay policy. Does Full o=coverage mean the state-required minimums? To some, yes. Does it mean UM/UIM and medpay coverage? To some, also yes.
The Rockafellow Law Firm recommends that everyone carry at least a $100,000/$300,000 policy with UM and UIM. This is how we would define a full coverage policy. Unfortunately, these policies aren’t always economically feasible for everyone. At the very least, check to see if you have UM/UIM on your policy. Many drivers have no insurance and even more have too little insurance. The UM/UIM policies protect you and your passengers from those drivers, who are often the most negligent on the road.