What Insurance Does Derrick Law Firm Recommend?

While every driver's financial situation is unique, Derrick Law generally recommends that drivers carry at least the following: 

  • $1,000,000 in liability coverage
  • $1,000,000 in uninsured motorist coverage
  • $1,000,000 in underinsurance motorist coverage

This may seem like a lot of insurance coverage. However, if you or a family member are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that requires significant medical treatment or lost time from work, you will be grateful to have the safety net of car insurance. It will allow you to receive financial compensation for your Charleston, SC, car accident.

Car insurance costs do not rise proportionally with coverage. While you will pay more for additional coverage, you will not pay 40 times the amount for a $1,000,000 policy that you would pay for a $25,000 policy.

You may need to ask your insurer about higher amounts. It is not always in the insurance company's financial interest to sell you higher coverage amounts, but purchasing it may be in your best interest.

We Also Recommend Med-Pay and PIP Coverage

If you are injured in a car accident and you incur medical bills, you can submit your medical bills to your insurance company and receive reimbursement for those medical bills through your Med-Pay and Personal Injury Protection coverages. This is important because it allows you to get the medical care you need quickly and without worrying about how to pay for it. 

Med-Pay and PIP are essential even if you have health insurance because they may cover things your health insurance will not cover. Typically, we recommend somewhere between $5,000.00 and $10,000.00 in Med-Pay or Personal Injury Protection coverage.

Understanding Your Car Insurance Policy

Car insurance policies are often confusing. However, you need to understand the legal contract you are signing to know your rights if you are involved in a Charleston car crash.

How to Read Your Car Insurance Policy

Your insurance policy is a legal contract that begins with a declaration page. The declarations page identifies the policy number and provides essential information, including the policy term, coverage limits, and information about the insured. It also contains a description of the vehicles covered under the policy.

After the declarations page, your policy is divided into sections that detail:

  • Types of coverage
  • Rights and obligations
  • Definitions used within the policy
  • Exclusions and limitations

If you received a loan to purchase your car and still have an outstanding balance, the lender will be listed as a "loss payee" on the declarations page. 

How Auto Insurance Rates Are Determined

Each company adopts its own rating system, although there are general guidelines that all companies follow.

The single most significant influence on the rating process is claim frequency. This does not mean how many times you specifically have made an insurance claim, although that will have an additional effect. Claim frequency measures how often an insured event occurs within a group relative to the number of policies in that group. Persons sharing characteristics with high claims groups will be charged more for insurance coverage. 

Specific Factors that Affect Your Car Insurance Rate

The following factors could impact your car insurance rate in South Carolina:

  • Your driving record. Drivers with previous violations or accidents are considered to be at higher risk.
  • Your geographic territory. Urban areas have more claims than rural areas.
  • Your gender and age. Males and specific age groups may have higher rates.
  • Your marital status. Married people may have lower rates.
  • Prior insurance coverage. The insurer may consider whether you have ever had your insurance canceled for non-payment of premiums.
  • Vehicle use. Drivers with higher annual mileage may have more risk and higher premiums.
  • Make and model of your vehicle. Luxury and sports cars average a higher number of claims.

Tips for Lowering Your Car Insurance Premiums

While insurance companies consider the things described above in setting premium rates, there are things that you can do to lower your premiums, such as:

  • Drive safely
  • Shop around and compare prices
  • Take the highest deductible you can afford and also take collision and comprehensive coverage
  • Before buying a vehicle, determine the cost of insuring it
  • Try to pay your premium before the due date
  • Review your policy periodically and update coverage accordingly

Additionally, you can ask insurers about potential discounts. Some possible discounts include:

  • Having multiple cars on a policy
  • Completion of driver education courses
  • Good student drivers under the age of 25
  • Mature driver (between 50 and 65 years of age)
  • Airbags and other safety equipment
  • Anti-theft devices
  • Low mileage accident-free record
  • Having your auto and home insurance with the same company

How to Select a Car Insurance Company

The first step is to select a financially strong insurer that is permitted to do business in South Carolina.

It is essential to shop around to get the best price for the coverage you need. Talk to representatives from several different companies. Tell them your insurance needs and ask what their company will charge to cover you.

Check with rating agencies for a financial analysis, grade, or rating of the insurance companies. Several private companies conduct these, and they are only opinions. However, they can provide you with information about how private analysts view the financial stability of a particular insurance company.

Finally, you can research the company's complaint record.  You can contact the South Carolina Department of Insurance to provide you with the number of written complaints their office has received against a specific insurance company.

South Carolina Car Accident Claims

Unfortunately, many people who purchase significant car insurance policies still need to fight for fair compensation after car accidents. Insurance companies try to maximize their profits by paying out as little as possible in car accident claims, even to the people who paid their policy premiums.

Our experienced Charleston car accident lawyers are here to help you if you've been hurt in a car accident in Charleston and the insurance company doesn't pay what you deserve. A car accident attorney at Derrick Law Firm will make sure that your rights are protected after an auto accident. We are committed to helping car accident victims make fair insurance settlements for car accidents that occur in Charleston and throughout South Carolina.

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