Whether you’re buying car insurance for the first time, renewing your policy, or just want to understand your coverage better, it’s a good idea to review your auto insurance policy. When you review your policy, make sure to look at your:
- Liability limits
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Medical coverage and personal injury protection (PIP)
- Endorsements or riders
- Optional coverage
If you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, now is a perfect time to purchase it.
In Hawaii, everyone who owns a vehicle must have motor vehicle insurance. The state’s mandatory coverages include liability limits of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for injuries and $10,000 per accident for property damage.
Make sure your policy meets these requirements and consider purchasing additional coverage. The Balance recommends coverage between $100,000 and $300,000 due to the growing costs of medical care and motor vehicles.
Collision coverage protects your vehicle in a collision – no matter who is at fault. For most people, this coverage is optional, but if you are financing or leasing your vehicle, the lender may require you to carry both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Car accidents are not the only disaster that can damage your car. Comprehensive coverage helps you if a tree falls on your car, if your car gets stolen, during fires and floods, and any other time your vehicle suffers non-collision damages.
Deductibles apply to collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Essentially, you agree to pay a certain amount after a covered loss, and your insurance company takes care of the rest. For example, you might pay $500 toward a stolen car or a vehicle repair, and your insurance company will pay up to policy limits to replace or prepare your vehicle.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Hawaii is a no-fault state for car insurance, which means personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory. PIP pays your medical bills and those of your passengers up to your policy limit, and you cannot sue the other driver unless there are serious injuries.
No-fault coverage only applies to injuries and medical bills. If the vehicles suffer property damage, the at-fault driver will still be liable.
All motor vehicle owners in Hawaii must carry $10,000 per person in PIP benefits for medical and rehabilitative costs.
From rental car coverage to alternative care coverage, you can add endorsements and riders to your policy. Because Hawaii only requires liability coverage and PIP, most types of coverage fall under the umbrella of optional coverage. You can decide what works best for you, but most attorneys recommend you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM Coverage)
Even though not having car insurance is against the law, many motorists drive without insurance anyway. If an uninsured driver hits you, your policy will be your only option for recovery. Most policies are not enough to cover all the costs of a car accident, so you may need to purchase additional coverage for this exact situation.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can help you in hit and runs and other types of accidents where you cannot identify the driver, or the driver has no car insurance and no assets.
Similarly, underinsured motorist (UIM) kicks in when the other driver’s policy is not enough to cover your accident-related damages.
With UM and UIM coverage, you never have to rely on another driver’s insurance policy. Your insurance company has a duty to act in your best interests, so a lawyer will be able to help you recover fair compensation.
Car insurance is expensive, especially with add-ons and optional coverage. Going above and beyond state requirements can save you money in the long run, however, and discounts can help offset the cost. Ask your insurance provider about multi-vehicle discounts, multi-policy discounts, and rewards for safe drivers, good students, and drivers who take special courses (like defensive driver training).
Getting a Fair Settlement After a Car Accident
If you take the time to review your car insurance and build a thoughtful policy, you should be taken care of in the event of an accident.
Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes make it difficult to recover the benefits you paid for. Whether you need to negotiate with another driver’s insurance company or hold your insurance company to its end of the bargain, Daniel T. Pagliarini Attorney at Law can help.
Our firm takes a tailored approach to personal injury law, and we have more than 30 years of experience in the field. We are not afraid of litigation and offer island values with aggressive representation.
For straightforward communication about your insurance claim, please call us at (808) 400-7248 or contact us online – and don’t forget to schedule your free claim evaluation!