There are many different types of auto insurance policies. Understanding the differences will help you know what the policy coverage is and make shopping for a policy easier to guarantee that you have the necessary protections.
AFS can help you navigate your insurance claims, provide additional resources and information. To make an appointment with an attorney, call our office at (512) 245-2370. Be sure to have your student ID # (ex: A01234567) available to schedule an appointment.
Types of Insurance Policies
Liability: Protects the driver or passenger of another vehicle from damages you caused them in a collision.
Collision: Covers damages to your car, and any vehicle involved in a wreck with you, regardless of who is at fault. It typically requires you to pay a deductible before receiving repairs.
Comprehensive: Covers damages to your car not caused by a collision such as hail damage, falling objects, theft, damage caused by animals, and natural disasters like floods or tornadoes.
"Full Coverage": This is a term that generally refers to a combination of policies including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.
Just had a wreck? Click HERE for a fillable, saveable form you can use to gather the necessary information.
Just had a auto accident? Fill out and save a Automotive Accident Form to gather some necessary information for insurance claims.
AUTO ACCIDENT FAQ
- Stop immediately and move to a safe location away from oncoming traffic and other vehicles.
- Call 911 to report that a collision occurred. If anyone is injured, tell this to the dispatcher and request an ambulance or fire team when necessary. When the police arrive, politely ask them to write and submit an official police report so you can use it for insurance claim purposes.
Do not admit fault of any kind or at any time. Anything you say will be used in determining what an insurance carrier will cover. If you admit fault, you will likely get stuck with the cost of the damages.
Exchange information with the other driver. You can take a picture of their driver license and proof of insurance. Be sure to get ALL the following information:
Driver's name, address, and phone number.
Driver's license number and the state that issued the license.
Insurance policy information (name of company, insurance policy number, name on policy, date of expiration)
The license plate number of the driver's vehicle.
Take several pictures of your vehicle and their vehicle, as well as of the area where the collision occurred.
- Call both your insurance company and the other driver's insurance company to file a claim within 48 hours to avoid unnecessary delays.
- If you have hit a parked car and the owner is not present, follow steps above except rather than exchange information, leave your information in a written note placed on the windshield of the vehicle. Take a picture of the note to prove you left your contact and insurance info.
- If you have a concussion or are confused about what happened, DO NOT make a statement yet to either insurance company. Tell them there was a collision, who was involved, where, and when it occurred. Tell them you will call them back with a statement once you are safe. Do not feel pressured into making a statement immediately. If you are not sure of the details, the insurance company may pressure you into saying something that will hurt your case and could lead to you being held responsible for all costs of the collision, including repairs to all the vehicles, personal injury claims of all parties involved, lost wages, etc.
What should I do if my car is damaged by something other than a vehicle (deer, hit a pole, run into a fence)?
- Stop immediately and move your vehicle to a safe location away from oncoming traffic and other vehicles.
- If you hit an animal, do not exit your car unless you are confident the animal will not attack you.
- Take pictures of both your car's damage and the item you hit.
- If you have damaged a pole, fence, or other object, try to determine who the owner is and give them your contact information. If you have injured an animal call the police and tell them you may need animal control, especially if the animal is suffering.
- Immediately call 911 to report that your car was hit. Do not move your vehicle if the police are going to appear on the scene and take a report. Request that the police come to the scene to make a report so that criminal charges can be filed if the person who hit and run is ever found. If the police are not going to respond, you can make a statement to the 911 operator about what damage you can visually see.
- Take pictures of your car BEFORE you move it or drive away.
- Take pictures of the ground around your car and of the area immediately surrounding it.
- Call your insurance company within 48 hours to report the collision.
- Depending on the severity of the injuries, call the dispatcher and request the police and ambulance. If you are treated on scene by an ambulance but are NOT transported to the hospital, you should not be charged for ambulance services. If necessary, go to the emergency room, an emergency clinic, or make an appointment with your doctor. If you have physical injuries but do not seek medical attention in a timely fashion, the insurance company will have a good case to deny paying for your injuries.
- Call the insurance company and let them know you have been physically injured but do not make an immediate statement, as you do not know yet all of the details of the police report, and you may not know the severity of your physical injuries. Tell them there was a collision, who was involved, where, and when it occurred. Tell them you will call them back with a statement once you are safe.
- Call a personal injury attorney if you believe you will incur medical costs. The attorney can help you prepare your statement to the insurance companies. You are NOT required to make a statement immediately. Do not feel pressured to do so.
- If you are unable to go to work because of your injuries, detail the dates and times you missed and how much you have lost in terms of wages or salary.
- Keep track of all medical bills you have accrued.
- If you have medical insurance, it may cover the costs of your physical injuries and then the car insurance company can reimburse the medical costs in a subrogation claim. Please seek legal advice to help in this process.
- If you do not have medical insurance, please consult an attorney if you have large medical costs so they can help you make a claim with the car insurance.
- Remember, if you have collision or comprehensive insurance, all these costs can be covered. If you only have liability insurance, your personal injury, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages will not be covered by your insurance.