Hi, I’m Dr. Steph Pinnow, your chiropractor for car accident injury from Noble Choice chiropractic here in Sun Prairie, WI.
Now, one of the most common questions I feel like that we get when somebody is in a car accident is how much is this going to cost? So I wanted to do a video just to help break down how exactly car insurance works in terms of coverage here in Wisconsin when you get in an accident.
It’s important that you know specifically what your state requires and what the laws are because they do vary state by state. So for example, here in Wisconsin we are considered to be an at fault state.
What that means is if you get in a car accident, it’s going to be determined at somebody’s fault. So that’s why it’s really important to make sure that you have the police called and have a report on file. Because whoever’s fault the accident was, or whoever caused the accident I should say, their auto insurance is one that’s going to be paying the other person’s or other people’s bills, depending on how bad of an accident it was.
So a couple vocab, I guess, terms that I want to make super clear to you is number one, bodily injury. So when you look at your policy, and you have bodily injury listed on it, that means that if you are again the person that causes the accident, your insurance will cover the medical damages to the person that you hit.
So for example in the state of Wisconsin, we have by law, a $25,000 or $50,000 (if it’s more than one person) minimum requirement. So in order to have your car, in order to be driving in Wisconsin, you have to make sure you have insurance coverage that does at least this amount, this minimum amount of coverage. That’s not a lot, right?
Car Accident Injury Chiropractic Care in Sun Prairie, WI
So if you’re in an accident and you have to go to the emergency room, maybe you need some MRIs, maybe you need CAT scans, maybe you have to have some sort of surgery, you’re probably going to eat up that $25,000 right away. Okay, so that’s bodily injury.
The second term as to property damage, and that I think is a little bit more self explanatory where that would be how much damage you cause to a person’s car. Or maybe if you hit something on somebody’s property, how much it costs to repair that, again, the state of Wisconsin the minimum requirement is $10,000 in property damage.
I know you probably have seen accidents, especially if it’s more than one vehicle involved. That’s going to cost more than $10,000 in property damage.
The last thing I want to talk about is called medical pay. Or Med Pay is what you might see it listed as on your declaration sheets. And that is your coverage for yourself. So bodily injury is let’s say I’m at fault I hit somebody. Bodily injury is going to cover their medical expenses. My property damage is going to cover their vehicle. Med Pay is going to pay for my own injuries since I was the one at fault.
So this is very important because when you look at the state minimum requirements for Wisconsin, you have them for property damage, and you have them for bodily damage. There is no minimum requirement for medical pay. That is not good.
Car Accident Injury Exam | Sun Prairie, WI Chiropractic
The reason that’s not good is let’s say in that first scenario where you eat up almost all of your coverage with surgery with CT scans all of that. That means that the rest of that balance is going to go to your own medical pay. So if you don’t have medical pay, that is going to be transferred to your own health insurance.
If you have great coverage, great. Sometimes they won’t pay if they know that it’s due to a car accident, but you’re still subject to your normal co-pays and deductibles. So if you get in a car accident, it’s not your fault. You eat up, like I said that first set amount from the other person’s insurance. You don’t have med pay, you have to go to your health insurance.
If you have a $6,000 deductible, you have to pay that. So this is all to say that coverage is really really important. So you want to make sure that whether or not you caused the accident or you were the victim, that your properly coverage and you theoretically have so much peace of mind with your own coverage that you don’t really have to worry about what the other person has.
So for example, sometimes somebody can hit you or cause an accident and they don’t actually have coverage. They’re driving illegally, then what happens? You can’t have them, you can’t build their insurance because they don’t have any money set aside for that. That’s when you have what’s called uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
So if you look at your policy and we have a great insurance agent, after we took quite a few personal injury trainings, we looked back at our own coverage and realized that we were severely under covered and under insured.
And now we have $250,000 for our bodily injury or $500,000 per occurrence meaning if it’s more than one person in the car. For are underinsured and uninsured again, same thing $250,000 and $500,000. We also have Med Pay and medical paid built into our own insurance at $50,000 per person.
So we have a family of four. We have $200,000 of coverage just from our auto insurance, not even counting the other person’s insurance as well as our own health insurance. So it is incredibly important. In general auto insurance will cover you. You should be covered at 0%, you know zero out of pocket costs.
But there are those little nuances where maybe that person doesn’t have enough coverage for you. Maybe they don’t have any coverage. You want to make sure that you are properly covered. So I highly highly recommend if you learn anything from this go back look at your declaration sheet.
Sometimes people will come in with $1,000 of med pay that they already used just from one trip to the emergency room. If you at one point, sign something because you have to opt out of having Med Pay. If you sign something that means you’re taking your own health into, I guess a little bit of a gamble, in my opinion, to decline your own med pay.
So you always want to make sure you have some sort of coverage for yourself just in case. Alright, so like I said, if you learned anything, look at your declarations page, talk to your insurance agent, make sure you have proper coverage. So that financially that is not impeding any sort of healing that you’re able to do here in our office.
As always, if you have questions, reach out. We are more than willing to help you and we also know a lot of good agents that can help you as well. Stay safe. We’ll see you soon. Thanks