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How Business Insurance Benefits Differ During a Pandemic than in a Natural Disaster

Published on Mar 26, 2020 at 2:25 pm in Insurance.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses in South Carolina and all across the United States have closed down to reduce the spread of the virus. While this will contribute to keeping hospitals stable and saving lives, it’s a precarious time for business owners.

As a business owner, you know your legal obligations when it comes to insurance coverage. However, there are so many additional coverage options you should be aware of. When you recognize the different policies available, you’ll be able to understand how business insurance benefits differ during a pandemic than in a natural disaster.

Understanding Settlement Options in Underinsured Motorist Claims

Published on Aug 5, 2015 at 3:23 pm in Insurance.

Millions of Americans use a car every day, and each one of those days brings the risk of being involved in a car accident. Accidents happen constantly, and South Carolina drivers have been ranked among the worst in the country for causing accidents due to speeding, careless driving, drunk driving, and failure to obey traffic laws.

Most people have car insurance that pays for personal injury and property damage resulting from accidents, and insurance companies will typically pay out if the driver at fault is uninsured. What many people might not realize is that their own insurance companies have the ability to pay out even after the insurance of the at-fault driver pays.

The Basics of South Carolina Auto Insurance

Published on Apr 28, 2014 at 11:31 am in Insurance.

If you or somebody that you love has recently been in a car accident then it may be important that you understand the basics around automobile insurance laws and regulations in South Carolina. Automobile accidents might have emotional, physical, and financial impacts on the parties involved, so it is important that you have full coverage or reimbursement for the harm you might have experienced as a result of the incident.

South Carolina is a fault car insurance state, which is a system in which the person who was legally at-fault for causing the car accident is liable for the damages that occurred as a result of the crash. The amount owed to the party that was injured depends on the severity of the losses, including vehicle and personal damage. This is why it is necessary for individuals to have car insurance so that it will cover the cost of damages for the person injured and who suffered property damage. There are three ways in which somebody can seek compensation after a car accident, which includes filing a claim with your own car insurance, a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court, or a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance. If you choose to file with your own insurance then your company should turn around and seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurer.

If you are out of state it is important to know that some areas of the country are no-fault states, which means that somebody injured in an accident must first use his own insurance coverage or reach a threshold in the cost of damages before pursuing another person’s insurance. Although South Carolina is not a no-fault state it is important to know the stipulations when you are traveling.

The state requires that residents who own a car also carry a minimum liability insurance to protect both the driver and other people involved in the accident. The minimum liability insurance requirements are intended to cover medical bills and property damage that may be too costly for an individual to pay on their own. Vehicle owners may want to increase their coverage above the minimum so that the damages sustained during an accident will be covered by your policy.

If you have been in a car accident then the Solomon Law Group is here to help you navigate the legal system as well as insurance requirements. We can support you in collecting lost wages, investigating the accident, as well as provide expert consultations when required by your insurance company. Although many automobile accidents in Columbia are settled out of court through negotiation, we can help you file a lawsuit on your behalf and prepare for a trial in case you do not receive fair compensation. You can contact us to set up a free consultation by calling 877-323-3120 or by visiting us online.

The driver who hit me was uninsured. Now what?

Published on Feb 21, 2014 at 9:46 am in Auto Safety, Insurance.

Unfortunately, here in Columbia and all over South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia uninsured drivers are out there causing motor vehicle accidents. While the law in each state requires that drivers carry minimum levels of bodily injury and property damage coverage, there are a lot of folks who are driving without insurance. So what do you do if the driver who hit you was uninsured?

If you read our Insurance Primer, you may be familiar with Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). We DO recommend you carry UM and UIM coverage on your policy for the best protection. UM coverage protects you in the event the at-fault party does not have insurance. Essentially, once you found out the other driver was uninsured, you would file the claim against your own UM policy and your insurance company would pay your claim based on the policy provisions and limits. There is often a deductible. Uninsured Motorist policies pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage up to the limits purchased. Other optional coverage you carry like MedPay, car rental coverage, etc. could also come into play, depending on the circumstances. UIM pays when your UM coverage (or in cases where the defendant had insurance, his/her liability insurance) is not sufficient to cover your damages. This is extremely important in any case where you are severely injured.

What if you didn’t purchase Uninsured Motorist coverage?

If the state you live in does not require UM coverage and you chose not to add this coverage to your policy, you have a few options. Initially, you may use your medical insurance to pay for your injuries. And if you have short-term and/or long-term disability insurance through your employer, you may be eligible for reimbursement of lost wages through these policies.

Depending upon the laws in your state and the specific circumstances of the auto accident that resulted in your injury, you may also have the right to pursue the at-fault party through the court system to try and recover damages. Unfortunately, even if you are awarded a judgment by the courts, whether or not you can collect on that judgment depends on the assets owned by the defendant and whether or not your state permits wage garnishment and levies on personal property. In many cases, the uninsured driver doesn’t have coverage because he or she couldn’t afford it. If a third party was partially at-fault, you may also have cause to pursue that party in your claim. In any case, if you do win a lawsuit against the at-fault uninsured driver or a third-party, your medical insurance company and short-or-long-term disability provider(s) may be entitled to reimbursement for expenses they paid up front (this is called subrogation).

In short, if your motor vehicle crash was caused by an uninsured driver, you may wish to schedule a free consultation with a Columbia accident lawyer to learn your rights.

 

An Auto Insurance Primer

Published on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:21 am in Insurance.

Here are some definitions to help you understand the different insurance coverage available to pay property damage, medical bills and other damages from a motor vehicle crash:

Policy Limits

When you purchase insurance, your policy limits will usually be stated as a set of three numbers. These numbers reflect the limits for bodily injury per injured person, followed by a total injury limit per accident, while the third number typically shows property damage limits per accident for damage caused to others’ property. At the writing of this article, the minimum coverage limits are:

Note these are minimum levels and many people choose to carry higher levels to protect their assets. Unless otherwise noted, the other insurance options described below are not required by law. If you choose not to purchase the additional coverage, you may end up paying many of these expenses on your own.

Bodily Injury Liability

All states require drivers to carry bodily injury liability insurance. This type of insurance covers injury caused by you or another covered driver if you are determined to be responsible for the accident. Coverage includes medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, etc. The first number shown in the policy limit is the maximum amount payable for each individual injured or killed. The second number reflects the total limit per crash where two or more parties were injured or killed.

Property Damage Liability

States also require drivers to carry property damage liability insurance. This coverage pays for damage caused by you or another authorized driver to other people’s property. This may include things like the not-at-fault party’s car, fences, walls, street lights, street signs, etc. NOTE: This coverage does not pay for damage to your property.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that occurred as the result of a crash. Insurance carriers will pay to repair your vehicle unless the cost of those repairs exceeds a maximum threshold based on the value of the vehicle. If this happens, the insurance company will “total” the vehicle and pay you (or the lienholder) the cash value of the car. Many people with older model cars will choose not to carry collision coverage (if the bank has a stake in the car, they will normally require collision coverage). If the car is wrecked, the owner is responsible for paying to repair or replace the vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is designed to cover damage to your vehicle from something other than a crash. This optional coverage will pay for things like hail damage, fire, theft, contact with an animal, etc.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

While not all states require drivers to carry UM and/or UIM coverage, this coverage will pay for injury and damage when the at-fault party does not carry any insurance or does not carry enough insurance. Uninsured Motorist covers expenses for injury and property damage when the at-fault party does not carry insurance. Underinsured Motorist pays up to the difference between the at-fault party’s bodily injury limit and your UIM limit. UIM does not pay for property damage.

Medical Payments Coverage

This optional insurance, sometimes called MedPay, pays medical expenses or funeral expenses for you or a family member as a driver or occupant of any vehicle involved in a crash or if you are a pedestrian and are involved in an accident.

Other Coverage

Most insurance companies offer a variety of other add-on’s that may be worth including in your policy. Adding towing or rental car coverage is usually inexpensive and can make your life easier if you are involved in a crash.

 

4 Ways To Lower Your Car Insurance Bill In South Carolina

Published on Jan 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm in Insurance.

Consider these practical tips on how to lower your monthly car insurance, courtesy of The Solomon Law Group.

The state of South Carolina requires every driver to have liability car insurance to cover damages, losses and injuries to another party when at-fault in an accident. However, many drivers also opt to get full coverage. Either way, when you get your auto insurance rate from an insurance company—no matter which one—a formula will be used to determine that your monthly payments will be. This is dependent upon a number of different factors, including: how often you drive, what kind of car you drive, if you have recently been in an accident or received a speeding ticket, even your age and where you live. That may feel a little unfair, but there are some practical ways to ensure that your car insurance is as low as possible.

1. Reverse Shop For Your Car With Insurance In Mind

What you drive matters to the insurance companies. High-profile sports cars are much more expensive to repair, and more likely to be stolen, which makes them a bigger risk for insurance companies to insure. The make and year of your car will also be taken into account, assessing for the quality and lifetime of the vehicle. By calling ahead and getting a quote for the cars you are considering, you can dramatically lower your insurance bill. Already have a new Mustang in the driveway? Not to worry, our next three tips can still help.

2. Get A Higher Deductible

A deductible is the amount that you will be expected to pay out of pocket before your insurance company will cover the rest of the bill. When comparing rates or making an insurance decision, it can be alluring to go for the lowest possible deductible, but that is to think in the short-term instead of the long-term. Here’s a brief explanation: Insurance companies typically lower premiums when drivers assume more of the financial risk by being willing to pay more of the cost for repairs themselves (that’s the deductible). If you are not prone to accidents, this can be a great way to save money on your car insurance. Since you will be charged less each month, you will have more to keep for yourself or place aside in the event that you are in an accident.

3. Ask For Discounts

The insurance companies probably won’t be looking to cut you a deal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get one. There are all kinds of discounts that you may be eligible for when it comes to auto insurance. Insurance providers often provide discounts for active or retired military, teachers, first responders and medical professionals. Senior citizens. Students will a certain grade point average. All of these could be possible discounts that you are eligible for. Insurance companies often provide multiple types of insurance (e.g. health, life, home) and bundling these could result in a discount.

4. Mind Your Driving

Insurance companies typically offer lower premiums to drivers who drive less. The logic is fairly simple: the less you drive, the less likely you are to be in an auto accident. When you get your quote, have a good idea of how many miles you typically drive, how often you drive out of state and how long your commute to work is. By knowing your numbers, you should be able to get a lower monthly rate.

If you have been in an auto accident in Columbia or the surrounding areas and find yourself at odds with your insurance company, or the insurance company of another driver, trust the auto accident lawyers at The Solomon Law Group to help expedite your claim and get you the fair results that you deserve.

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