Deer, Turkeys, & Other Wildlife in South Carolina Do Not Carry Insurance

They may carry insurance in other states but I can only speak to South Carolina law. A recent State Farm Deer Vehicle Confrontation Report indicated that the month of November was the month most likely to strike a deer. The second and third most active months were, October and December, respectively. 

Anyone traveling in the state of South Carolina for any period of time has either directly or indirectly encountered some wild animal that decides at the most in opportune time to cross the road. The driver of the motor vehicle must immediately decide between that cute furry creature or their lives. Many drivers make the choice for the cute furry creature, causing thousands of dollars in property damage and personal injuries

Like in any instance of survival, there are ways to protect yourself against ignorance, accidents, and PETA like compassion for animals over your own well being and the well being of those passengers in your vehicle. It's called the right type of automobile insurance. 

What covers you when there is no other vehicle, person, or entity to blame? Your own insurance if you were educated on it by your insurance provider or smart enough to educate yourself by reading this blog. 

Everyone that can afford cigarettes, tobacco, gas, books or alcoholic beverages can afford the following additional insurance coverage to better protect themselves. Everyone cares about themselves, right?

Comprehensive Coverage: covers damage caused by incidents other than a car accident, including theft, fire, vandalism, weather, falling objects and animal damage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments Coverage: is "no-fault" insurance that covers you and your passengers for any damages sustained while in the operation, maintenance, and/or use of the insured vehicle. If you have PIP coverage it often times covers, or follows, you while in another vehicle. Depending upon the insurance company and contract, you can stack PIP coverage. PIP coverage is awesome and you are not the sharpest tool in the shed if you don't have it. 

Watch out for those furry creatures!

 

 

 RELATED ARTICLES

"Full Coverage" Automobile Insurance

Six People Injured in Anderson County: Minimum Automobile Insurance Review

The minimum limits for automobile insurance in the state of South Carolina are $25,000.00 per person for bodily injury, $50,000.00 for all persons per accident in bodily injury, and $25,000.00 per accident in property damage. (Current through the date of this blog post).  Every driver must carry liability coverage for harm, or injury, they may cause others and uninsured coverage to protect themselves from others not following the rules, ie when harmed, or injured, by drivers without automobile insurance. (For a more in depth analysis feel free to read the actual South Carolina Code on Automobile Insurance, S.C. Code Ann. 38-77-10, et al.)

I have discussed the term "full coverage" on previous blog posts and will only revisit it to say, 90% of clients I assist think they have full coverage and they do not. There is a two inch thick reference book by my desk entitled, "The Law of Automobile Insurance in South Carolina", so understand there are many twists and turns in the world of insurance law. There are two main items everyone should add to the minimum coverage, underinsured coverage and Personal Injury Protection, because these items protect your interest instead of you depending on the general population having enough insurance coverage when you are seriously injured.

Let's make all these facts and figures relevant:

  • Example 1: The Anderson Independent reported that six people were injured on Sunday, August 19, 2012, "Six Hospitalized in Sunday Morning Collision." Let's assume only one driver was responsible for the collision, albeit an accident and not intentional, and was not one of the six injured. If that at fault driver has minimum insurance coverage, the most any one of those six people could receive for their injuries, without pursuing personal assets of the at fault driver, is $25,000.00. The most all six injured parties could receive under the same example, is $50,000.00  aggregate between all six of them.  But what if one party had a broken arm that required surgery? That doesn't change the fact that the only amount of coverage the at fault driver has is $25,000.00 per person per accident in bodily injury and $50,000.00 for all persons per accident. That is why it is important to make sure you have underinsured coverage and PIP coverage. Nobody will watch out for your interest more than you.
  • Example 2: Also reported recently by the Anderson Independent was a fatality when a motorcycle driver lost control of his bike and was killed. "Clemson Motorcyclist Killed in Accident on Liberty Highway." There was apparently no other vehicle involved and was merely an accident with no other party being negligent, or liable. Therefore the only relevant automobile insurance coverage would be PIP, or medpay, and only if the driver incurred medical expenses prior to his untimely death. The only party is the driver and you can not pursue your own liability coverage against yourself in a collision. See also "Single Car Accident Leave Drivers and Passengers with Few Options."

When you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision and been injured, you want to make sure at the very least you have your interests protected within your own insurance coverage. Your right, that is not fair because it was the fault of someone else and they should take care of all your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disfigurement, and loss of earning capacity. Fill in the blank, "Nobody said life was _____." Plus, if they have minimum coverage they are doing everything required of them by South Carolina law. Good luck trying to get a judgment against personal assets that don't exit, too. I have several outstanding judgments, one against a 19 year old that will most likely never own anything and one against a now defunct corporation. We've all heard the saying, "Can't get blood out of a turnip." Well that's true.

Dumb Driver News: South Carolina Motorcyclist Hit Twice: At Fault Driver Calls Boyfriend Before 911

Recently, one of my clients had the misfortune of being in oncoming traffic while a young girl was talking on her cellphone with her boyfriend. The young girl veered into oncoming traffic and struck my client.

When she got out of the car to check on my client, he begged her to call 911 because he was in a great deal of pain (he was suffering from a broken hip-among other things). She screamed and jumped into the car which did not have the emergency brake on, causing it to roll back over my client in the road.  She jumped out and said, "Oh no!" She then used her cell phone to call her boyfriend to ask what to do. Either her boyfriend heard my client screaming in the background for medical help or he was smarter than his fifth grade educated girlfriend and told her to call the POLICE.

Eventually my client was able to get his cellphone from his pocket and call 911  and get much needed medical attention. After a  week in the local hospital his medical bills from the collision greatly exceeded the dumb girl's insurance coverage.

This is an excellent illustration for the need in having UIM, or underinsurance, coverage and PIP, or personal injury protection, coverage.  There are a lot of dumb drivers out there with minimal limits which in South Carolina is $25,000.00. You don't want to be on the receiving end of their ignorance and negligence.

Yes, this is a true story.

 

Related Posts:

"Full Coverage" Automobile Insurance

Bad Economy Leads More Drivers to Drop Insurance

 

Three Coverages South Carolina Insurance Policy Holders Should Add

As mentioned in my previous post, I am amazed at the insurance coverages my clients never even knew existed. This challenge goes out to all insurance salesmen to better inform your clients of  the coverages and give them examples of why they need it. I know they probably don't want to pay the extra money and you don't get much additional commission but it's your job to explain why $50-$100 extra a year can save them $1,000-$25,000.  I have these three things and so should you:

  1. Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P) and/or Medical Payments (Medpay) coverage- this covers you and all the passengers in your automobile regardless of fault or liability- if you don't have health insurance this is a must;
  2. Underinsurance (U.I.M) coverage-exactly what it sounds like, except easier to understand when I explained that it helps cover you and your passengers or family when someone injures them that does not have enough insurance or assets to go after; and
  3. GAP Coverage & Renters Insurance-both of these coverages take care of your possessions when they are damaged. The first being your automobile that is over financed and not worth what you owe on it. The second for your possessions while renting someone else's home or apartment.

I can not help you if you are not helping yourself by taking advantage of the insurance coverage that actually benefits you and not someone else. As much as I comment about how I hate insurance companies, they are a necessary evil. If you are able to play the game of insurance successfully you can and will come out on top.

 

Previous or Related Posts I Have Written on these Coverages:

 

Kay Werts of Fountain Inn: Killed in Fatal Collision

The Greenville News was reporting that a fatal accident occurred between Ms. Kay Werts of 738 S. Old Fairview Road and a teenage driver this morning on Fairview Road in Greenville County. 

You never know when a freak accident can occur. Please make sure you have your loved ones, friends, and even your enemies taken care of in times of need. It starts with:

  1. Full Coverage Automobile Insurance;
  2. Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P)/ Medical Payments;
  3. Handling Your Property Damage Correctly; and
  4. Avoiding Allstate Insurance Company Because They Suck

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident, or as a result of another person's ignorance, negligence, or omission, please feel free to call upon me at 864-231-7171 or toll free at 1-800-483-0880.

Bad Economy Leads More Drivers to Drop Insurance

M.P. McQueen of "The Wall Street Journal" reports that:

More drivers are letting their car insurance lapse because of the sour economy, putting themselves and others at risk........

Ms. McQueen quoted Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, as saying:

"A good proportion of people on the road are either uninsured or underinsured, and so you have to protect yourself... "

"Your odds of being in an accident with an uninsured driver are substantial."

As I reported in my "Full Coverage"  article:

Minimum insurance limits in the South Carolina are mandated by S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-140 and at the present time are 25,000/50,000/25,000. Likewise, UM, or uninsured coverage is mandatory but you should carry higher than the minimum limits.

Insurance coverages that protect you when someone is uninsured, underinsured, or is covered with Allstate are below: (insurance companies don't want you to know about them because it costs them money in the long run):

  1. UIM- In accordance with S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-160, this is optional coverage you can purchase in the event that damages are sustained in excess of the liability limits carried by an at-fault insured (driver) or underinsured motorist. Remember minimum coverage is $25,000.00 per one person.
  2. UM-This is uninsured coverage and essentially your insurance company will defend the at fault person against you. HUH? Read it again. That's right! You're own insurance company defends the uninsured person against you. Why? Insurance companies don't make money paying you money, that includes your insurance company. Call and ask them if you think I am being untruthful.
  3. PIP/MEDPAY- This is the greatest insurance ever. If you do not have it, you're an idiot. It's cheap, too.
  4. GAP Coverage-Gap insurance covers the difference between what the insurance company says your car is worth versus what's left on your car loan, or note.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medical Payments Insurance

P.I.P, or Personal Injury Protection/Medical Payments, insurance coverage is not well known or well publicized.  This type of insurance coverage can play a crucial role if you or someone you love is involved in an automobile wreck.  The most advantageous element of this coverage is the "no-fault" aspect. 

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-144 indicates that PIP coverage is not mandated but if an insurer sells no-fault insurance coverage which provides personal injury protection, medical payment coverage, or economic loss coverage, the coverage shall not be assigned or subrogated and is not subject to a setoff.
  • What does all this mean?  Insurance is just that- insuring against a potential risk.  As I mentioned in my "Full Coverage" article, you get what you pay for. 
  • PIP is optional insurance coverage and is relatively inexpensive.
  • PIP covers you and the other occupants in your car that have your permission to be there. 
  • If you cause the wreck, you still have coverage. 
  • If you did not cause the wreck, you still have coverage IN ADDITION to any personal injury claims that may arise.

G.I. Joe always helped information sink in when they parted by stating,"Knowing is half the battle!"

Tell your insurance agent you want PIP/Medical Payments coverage on your insurance policy-today.

DISCLAIMER: I do not get kickbacks from insurance agents! However, if you have been injured, I can not go after coverage that you never had to begin with!

"Full Coverage" Automobile Insurance

When I turn to my clients and ask them about their automobile coverage, they quickly respond back that they have "Full Coverage".  Full coverage to them and full coverage to me are two different things. My idea of full coverage is below:

  1. $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 Liability and Property Coverage ( Minimum insurance limits in the South Carolina are mandated by S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-140 and at the present time are 25,000/50,000/25,000. Likewise, UM, or uninsured coverage is mandatory but you should carry higher than the minimum limits).
  2. Personal Injury Protection/Medical Payments (PIP/Medpay)- $25,000.00.  This is no fault insurance that protects you and other occupants of the car. This is optional coverage you can request that is very inexpensive.
  3. Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)- $100,000.00. In accordance with S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-160, this is optional coverage you can purchase in the event that damages are sustained in excess of the liability limits carried by an at-fault insured (driver) or underinsured motorist. Remember minimum coverage is $25,000.00 per one person.
  4. Comprehensive/Collision Coverage-Again these are optional coverages you can get that provide deductibles you pay to have your automobile repaired if it is in a collision or damaged as a result of something other than collision, ie fire, theft, weather, vandalism, etc (comprehensive). Often times collision coverage is required if you finance your vehicle through a bank, or lender.
  5. GAP Coverage-Gap insurance covers the difference between what the insurance company says your car is worth versus what's left on your car loan, or note. I was not going to include this in my "Full Coverage" but in the past few weeks I have had 3 clients that would pay triple their premium in exchange for GAP coverage.  

Full coverage to my clients usually means the bare minimum it takes to drive on the roadways of the state of South Carolina. As stated above, that would be liability coverage if you cause injury or property damage to someone else at $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 and Uninsured Motorist Coverage for incidents where you are injured by someone that failed to follow the law and carry the minimum insurance coverage. The amounts I use above can be adjusted to fit in each individuals budget. If you carry the bare minimum required by law, just remember the old adage that "You get what you pay for!"

INSURANCE is just that, coverage and protection when losses are injuries occur to you or your family as a result of the negligence or lack of responsibility of another party.  Be prepared when that time comes. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety put out a report a few years ago that indicated a traffic wreck occurred every 4.7 minutes.