You pay your car insurance premium every month or possibly once a year for a rate reduction. You then trust that insurance will cover your costs if you get into a car crash. There are thousands of crashes every year in Indiana, and often drivers need medical treatment or miss work because they got hurt.
The drivers affected by these crashes usually expect that insurance will cover bills and other financial losses. Understanding how car insurance works can help you make the most of the coverage available to you after a wreck.
Indiana has fault-based car insurance
Your insurance coverage protects you primarily from liability. If you are the one responsible for causing a wreck, your coverage will pay the expenses that other people involved in the wreck have. Your bodily injury liability coverage will pay for medical care and also lost income.
The state requires at least $25,000 of coverage if one person gets hurt and $50,000 of coverage when two or more people get hurt. You also have to carry $25,000 worth of property damage liability coverage. You can expect that your policy will help if you are at fault for a crash.
The mandatory coverage required in Indiana will also protect you when the other driver is at fault. Indiana requires uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, usually in the same amount as the liability coverage that someone carries. You can make a claim against your own uninsured and underinsured motorist protection if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or if your total costs for the crash are higher than the coverage that they carry.
Sometimes, even two policies aren’t enough
Unfortunately, even a combination of two kinds of coverage from your policy and the other driver’s policy may be far less than what you need after a wreck. Especially if your vehicle is a total loss or if you or one of your passengers gets seriously injured in a crash, the total costs could be six or seven figures, rather than just the $50,000 in bodily injury coverage available between two minimum policies.
State law does permit civil lawsuits brought by those hurt in major motor vehicle collisions. Understanding how Indiana state law and your insurance protect you will make it easier for you to cover costs after a car crash.