We’ve all heard the term “full coverage” right? But what does having full coverage really mean?
- Full coverage is a somewhat illusory term that in most applications actually only means that you have liability coverage as required by Louisiana state law. Liability coverage means liability to others and is a policy of insurance that will compensate others if you were to cause a collision and injure someone or damage their vehicle. It will protect and insulate you from personal exposure up to the limits of your insurance policy but will not compensate you in any way. There are other optional coverages that exist that will help protect and compensate you for both fault and non-fault collisions.
- Uninsured or underinsured coverage (commonly referred to as “UM coverage”) will actually compensate you if you are in a collision that is not your fault. UM coverage comes with both bodily injury coverage if you are injured and property damage coverage if your vehicle is damaged. In an uninsured situation, it will be the only coverage in effect if the at-fault party did not have any insurance. In an underinsured situation, it will take effect once the at-fault party’s policy limits are exhausted.
- Medical Payments Coverage or “Med Pay” is a coverage that is for a pre-determined amount like $1000 or $2500 or $5000 that will help pay any medical bills you might incur as a result of a collision up to the limits of your Med Pay policy. It will usually cover not only the driver but also any passengers that occupied the vehicle and were injured as well.
- Collision coverage is a non-fault based coverage that will help you pay for repairs to your vehicle for collision-related damage regardless of if you were at fault or not. Normally, there is a deductible you must pay or have deducted from the damage estimate and your coverage will then pay for any vehicle repairs above and beyond your deductible amount.
- Comprehensive coverage functions much the same way as collision except that it covers any non-collision related damage such as vandalism, theft, weather-related damage like flooding or wind damage. Again, you would pay or have your deductible amount deducted from the damage estimate but your comprehensive policy would then pay for any repairs above and beyond that amount.
- Rental coverage is another common and useful optional coverage. Rental is just what it sounds like; it will pay to provide you with a rental vehicle while your vehicle is under repair. Normally, rental policies are for either a specified period of time, like 30 days OR up to a specified amount of money, like $1000, whichever comes first. So it is usually in your best interest to select an inexpensive rental vehicle because you may use up the amount of coverage long before the stated time period elapses.