You must obtain insurance coverage on your own vehicle that will pay in the event the at-fault driver's insurance is insufficient.

First you need to know what particular insurance coverages cover. 

1.) Liability Insurance:  This is the insurance you buy for coverage to pay other people who are injured due to your negligence.  This coverage protects your assets in the event you cause a wreck.  Liability insurance does not provide you any money if it was your fault.

2.) Med-pay/Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This insurance coverage is not mandatory.  The insurance company does not have to write this coverage.  However, it is very good coverage in that it is like having health insurance on your auto policy.  If you are injured, this coverage will pay for medical bills related to your injuries, no matter whose fault it was.  Therefore, if it is your fault or the other driver's fault, and you incur medical bills due to injuries received in the accident, your Med-Pay or PIP coverage will reimburse you for those expenses.  This coverage allows individuals who have no health insurance to receive medical care.  This coverage pays as bills are being incurred and does not wait until the end of the case to pay.  This is very good coverage that allows you to take care of your health and the health of your family members in the event of an accident.

3.) Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This insurance coverage provides for payment of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other legal damages if the negligence of someone else caused the wreck and that person has no automobile insurance.  Having sufficient uninsured motorist coverage is essential in a time that 1 out of 7 drivers on the road nationwide is uninsured.

4.) Underinsured Motorist Coverage:  This insurance coverage provides money to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other legal damages when the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay all the damages.  This coverage is essential in South Carolina since the minimum requred amount of liability coverage is $25,000 per person.

Second you need to know what coverages you need and how much coverage do you need.

We recommend that people have $1,000,000 in liability coverage, $1,000,000 in Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and $1,000,000 in Under-Insured Motorist coverage.  You may be thinking this is excessive.  It is not if you and your family are involved in a serious accident that requires substantial medical treatment and you or your wife become disabled for a substantial amount of time. 

Many have asked, "I can barely afford $25,000 of coverage, how in the world can I afford $1,000,000?  Would that not be 40 times the amount that I am paying now?"

The answer is NO!  In fact, because the large amounts of Uninsured Motorist coverage and Underinsured Motorist coverage are so cheap, the state of South Carolina had to pass a law to make insurance companies offer the coverage to you and explain in writing how cheap it is.  For years, the insurance companies would not make the offer in a clear manner to let you know how much coverage you can buy for just pennies a day.  For years, the appellate courts of South Carolina kept saying that the information being given to consumers by the insurance companies was insufficient.


Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.