There are a lot of different options available on a Texas car insurance policy. As I’ve written in the last two posts, anything after liability coverage is strictly optional as far as Texas law is concerned. This week we’ll look at some of the more common coverage options in the third part of our series on car insurance coverage.
Medical: There are two types of medical coverage policy holders can choose from including personal injury protection or PIP and medical coverage or MedPay. Both provide medical coverage and funeral expense for you or anyone riding in the car with you if you’re injured or killed in a car accident regardless of who’s at fault. Both are paid on a reimbursement basis and typically purchased with limits of $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000, although some companies do offer higher limits of medical coverage.
While medical only addresses medical related expenses incurred from an accident related injury, PIP can be used in two additional ways:
- It covers lost wages if you’re unable to work due to accident related injuries
- It pays for services you’re unable to perform as a result of accident related injuries such as cutting the grass, someone running to the grocery store for you etc.
Personal injury protection may also be used by a personal injury lawyer to sue the other party in an accident, or even one of the insurance companies. Med Pay does cost a little less than PIP if you don’t need the additional benefits PIP offers.
Towing: This coverage may be referred to as towing or roadside assistance as most carriers offer an array of services beyond towing including, changing a flat tire, providing a gallon of gas if you neglected to fill up at that last gas station, charging a dead battery, and unlocking your car if you locked your keys in the car. In most cases, these services are all inclusive. I have seen one instance where the car insurance company insisted that towing was only available if the person was involved in an accident, so be sure to check before including it.
The coverage is purchased on the basis of a towing charge, $50, $100, $200, etc. How much of a tow you may need depends on where you live, your commute, where you travel and more. Keep in mind that a $50 tow won’t cover a tow between Dallas and Fort Worth.
Rental car reimbursement: If you’re involved in an accident and don’t have a spare vehicle sitting around, this option provides for a rental car up to 30 days. The amount of coverage is usually represented with two numbers such as 25/750, 30/900, 35/1050, and so on.
The first number is the maximum daily rental rate while the second number is the total amount paid over the 30 day period. This coverage which may only be used when your car is in the shop for repairs resulting from a claim and does not apply if your car is in the shop for scheduled maintenance or other repairs.
What do you think? Share your comments, questions, and experiences with me on my Facebook, Google +, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!