Does 15 Minutes Really Save you 15%on Car Insurance?

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By John Bazzurro

The purpose of this article is to inform the public about a phenomena that I have come across in my personal injury practice concerning the “bargain” automobile insurance companies that advertise “discounted” insurance rates.

Did you ever wonder how these “bargain” insurance companies allow consumers to save “15% or more” on car insurance? Well, it has been my experience in my handling of a number of cases in my personal injury practice that the insurance coverage these companies are providing for the lower premium is really not the same insurance coverage that you may have had with your prior insurance company. Specifically, what I have seen on numerous occasions is that these “bargain” automobile insurance companies reduce the medical expense benefits coverage on these newly opened policies from the “normal” coverage in the State of New Jersey of $250,000.00 for medical expenses arising out of the motor vehicle accident to only $15,000.00 in medical expense coverage without specifically advising the insured individual or family members. Thus, although they are providing insurance coverage at reduced premiums, they are not providing the same insurance coverage that you may be giving up and this can be detrimental to those injured in a motor vehicle accidents.

What this means is that, in the event of a motor vehicle accident where you or a family member require medical attention, you will only have medical coverage available for you or family members in the amount of $15,000.00 as opposed to the “normal” coverage of $250,000.00 . As you can imagine, given the high costs of medical treatment, the $15,000.00 in medical coverage does not go a long way in providing much needed treatment and, as such, individuals injured in auto accidents who have this minimal medical coverage often have no means of obtaining medical treatment.

Obviously, unless you have a motor vehicle accident and require medical treatment, you will not even realize that your medical expense coverage has been reduced from your prior policy limits of $250,000.00 to the minimal medical expense coverage of $15,000.00. This scenario (the absence of a motor vehicle accident for which you need medical attention) is exactly what these bargain insurance companies are banking on so that you never find out that they have reduced your coverage without informing you of same.

Accordingly, in light of the above, it is important for you to insure that the policy limits in your new “bargain” insurance policy are the same policy limits that you had in your prior policy. Of course, it may be difficult for a layperson to decipher exactly what coverages are contained in their new or old policies. I invite anyone to submit their new and old declaration pages for my review so I may advise you accordingly. A quick review of your automobile insurance policy now could save a great expense later.