You likely think of your car insurance policy as a form of personal protection. You pay every month, every six months or every year for your insurance coverage and expect it to protect you in the event of a collision.
However, the Mississippi insurance program requires liability coverage and nothing else. If all you have is basic insurance, your policy may not play a role at all following a serious collision.
Fault determines which policy should pay
Generally speaking, one driver’s insurance policy will likely have to compensate those affected by a crash. The driver who is at fault for the collision is responsible for the costs other people suffer, so their insurance policy will be the one that pays for vehicle damage and hospital bills.
You can make a claim against their coverage, but you are subject to their policy limits. Many drivers in Mississippi carry the minimum amount of insurance that the state requires to register a vehicle. The other driver might have a policy with 25,000 of property damage coverage.
Bodily injury coverage may be a little bit higher, as the state requires two different limits depending on how many people get hurt in a crash. If a wreck only injures one person, the lowest legal policy limit is just $25,000. Drivers with low coverage may have only $50,000 worth of protection when they hurt two or more people. Your own policy will do nothing to protect you, even if you carry several times more liability coverage.
The only way your policy will help is if you have extra coverage. Underinsured motorist protection, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage can help those without enough insurance after a motor vehicle collision.
What if you don’t have supplemental coverage?
People say that hindsight is 20/20, which means that you might recognize the value of underinsured motorist coverage after you get hurt in a crash and not before when you have the opportunity to protect yourself.
If you do not have underinsured motorist protection or other coverage that will help you, then your solution to crash expenses may involve taking the driver at fault for the collision to civil court. In fact, in some scenarios, there may be other parties, like vehicle manufacturers or employers, who have partial liability for the crash as well.
Looking into all of your options for compensation can help you when the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage to pay your car crash costs.