Shell Shock

Are you sure that your auto insurance policy provides all the protection you’ll ever need after a car crash? Unforeseen expenses can put a big dent in your bank account.

“It’s imperative that you carefully go over the terms of your policy. PIP (personal injury protection) insurance is absolutely necessary and is mandatory in the state of Texas unless you waive getting it in writing,” Brad Parker says. “You'll have co-pays, you'll have deductibles, and you may have lost wages. PIP is there to reimburse you almost immediately for those lost items while the rest of your insurance claim is being resolved, which could take weeks, months or even years.”

In addition to property damage and medical expenses, there are costs that most drivers never consider.

REPLACING CUSTOMIZED PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

If you splurged on a top-of-the-line stereo system, high-performance tires, or other nonstandard equipment like a bike or luggage rack, you need to consider that if those items are destroyed in a car accident, you will be responsible for replacing them. Some auto insurance policies allow for customized and optional equipment and typically cost between $10 and $15 annually for each $1,000 in value.

TOWING EXPENSES

If your policy doesn’t include towing coverage, you pay an unreasonably high fee to have your car transported elsewhere. Sometimes a short tow can be several hundred dollars.

RENTING A CAR

If you don't have access to another car, you may have to rent while your damaged automobile is being repaired. Rental car reimbursement is an optional coverage that typically costs motorists a small additional fee. It can be a good investment, since renting a car may cost $40 for a single day. Be sure to check whether your policy is subject to limits for daily car rental costs or for the overall cost of your rental car claim.

REPAYING A LOAN ON A TOTALED CAR

Even if your car is totaled in an accident, the driver is still responsible for paying off the auto loan. Newer cars decline in value quickly, so the amount you receive from the insurance company may not be enough to pay off the loan. Gap coverage is an optional policy that would pay the difference between what your insurance company normally would pay for the totaled car and what you owe your lender.

INCREASED INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Car insurance rates are partially based on driving records, so getting into an accident and making a claim can lead to higher insurance costs. If you are not at fault, accidents typically will not affect your insurance rates. If you are at fault for two or more accidents within a three-year period, your annual premium could rise by as much as 40 percent.

If you are hurt in a car or truck collision, don’t assume your insurance will cover everything. An experienced personal injury lawyer can walk you through the complicated process of getting reimbursed for everything you’ve paid out of pocket. Call Parker Law Firm for a free strategy session at 817.440.3888.


At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.

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