Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Michael A. Schafer, Attorney at Law. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have about your accident. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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What Does Stacking Mean In Kentucky?
Stacking is the term that describes taking several different insurance policies and adding them together for greater benefit amounts. For example, you have three cars insured on three different insurance policies. You have $100,000 of Underinsured Motorist Coverage on each of these cars. If you are in a car accident and your damages total over $300,000, you may be able to collect on all three of these policies.
For more information on stacking, check out this article, "What Is Stacking?"
What Happens If A Car Almost Hits Me And I Hit Someone Else?
Insurance policies are very long and complicated in Kentucky. You must know what questions to ask your agent so you know what coverage you have. There are many different situations that can happen and there is little uniformity in auto insurance policies. Some insurance companies have a “Contact Rule” in which there must be contact with the at-fault driver in order for there to be a recovery from your Uninsured Motorist Coverage. The only way to know what coverage you have is to read the policy given to you by your agent. You could also ask your insurance agent to explain it to you. Then you can call your attorney.
For additional information on this subject, see my article called, "What Happens If A Car Almost Hits Me And Causes Me to Hit Something Else?"
Do I Need Towing Coverage?
Yes, you may purchase towing insurance as part of your car insurance policy. Many private companies, such as AAA, also offer road assistance packages. I would compare the rates and benefits of your insurance company and the private companies. Then go with the best deal. Generally, AAA will have a larger mileage for their towing radius if you purchase their plus package. This coverage will give you the option of having your car towed to the repair shop of your choosing.
What Are Added Reparation Benefits?
Added Reparation Benefits are additional medical benefits and lost wage benefits that you may purchase from your insurance company. This will increase the amount of medical bills and lost wages that are paid by your insurance company should you be in a car accident. This is similar to PIP benefits.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is Kentucky car insurance coverage that pays you for your pain and suffering. It also covers your out of pocket expenses if you are in an automobile accident. If you are injured by a driver of a car that does not have insurance, you will also be covered under this coverage.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)?
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) is Kentucky car insurance that covers you if the injuries that you sustained in an automobile accident, that was not your fault, are greater than the insurance coverage of the driver that hit you.
Should I Reject Or Waive My Kentucky No-Fault Benefits?
In Kentucky, Basic Reparation Benefits (Personal Injury Protection or PIP) are part of the liability package unless No-Fault Insurance is formally rejected. You do have the option to reject your No-Fault Coverage. Your insurance company must inform you of this in writing. If you do choose to do this, your car accident case will not be controlled by the Kentucky No-Fault Statute but by Kentucky case law. This rejection must be done in writing and filed with the Office of Insurance.
There are additional benefits in the statute, such as how the medical bills are paid, how to appeal the denial of medical payments and penalties to the insurance company for wrongful denial of these payments. I cannot fully discuss those here. Never, under any circumstances or for any reason, reject your rights under the No-Fault Statute.
What Questions Should I Ask My Agent When Buying Insurance?
The most important questions you can ask your insurance agent are:
- What does this coverage mean?
- How much does it cost?
- How much more will it cost if I raise my limits?
- Is there another company that will give me a better rate?
Have your insurance agent go through each coverage area and ask these questions about each area of insurance coverage. Have all the coverages explained to you. Make sure you understand exactly what you are purchasing. Get the right coverage for you by asking the right questions.
What Are PIP Deductibles? Are They A Good Idea?
A PIP deductible is like any other deductible. If you have a $1,000 deductible, you will have to pay for the first $1,000 in medical bills and lost wages out of your own pocket. Also, you will not be reimbursed for any lost wages. This is a bad deal for you and a good deal for the insurance company.
What Is A Permissive User?
A permissive user is someone who is driving your car with your permission. They may be covered under your car insurance policy should they be in an automobile accident.