November 16, 2010

How Claims Are Handled In No Fault States

When searching for auto insurance online, it's important to know if you live in a "no fault" state. Approximately twelve percent of states are considered to be "no fault" states. "No fault" means that the person who is not at fault for causing the accident does not have to establish evidence on their own behalf before being eligible for reimbursement from their auto insurance company for medical damages associated with personal injury that arise from being involved in an auto accident. The no fault clause that these states have adopted is an attempt on the part of those states to avoid expensive court battles that can result from attempts to establish fault when related to insurance claims payments for medical costs.

The rest of the states are currently "fault" states - this means that payment of auto insurance claims is apportioned to each respective insurance carrier or individual regarding the percentage of fault each party may bear. When an auto insurance claim is processed in a fault state, the reimbursement process for everything but medical damages, also often called personal injury protection payouts, is actually quite similar to how it is processed in a no fault state. In both fault and no fault states, physical damages to the vehicle are processed for payment according to fault. But in the case of medical damages, whether a state has a fault or no fault policy then becomes critical.

When seeking auto insurance online, it is important to establish how the state of residence views fault, and to thoroughly address the issue of how the auto insurance carrier addresses payment of claims through the state's current policy of fault versus no fault. When comparing different plans for auto insurance online, this process should serve to narrow down the choices to those plans that seem to be a better fit for the insured's needs and budget, but should then be followed up with a phone meeting to discuss the option to purchase add on coverage for personal injury protection, and whether or not the state of residence allows the insured to elect to purchase a fault or no fault policy.

Identifying the right auto insurance carrier begins with understanding the governing policies of the state of residence. This will insure that the prospective insured is able to purchase a policy that will adequately meet their needs should they become involved in an auto accident at some future date. The important component of a no fault policy extends to how physical injury and medical costs are treated during an insurance payout. Understanding the state's fault or no fault policy will ensure purchase of the right policy for the insured's needs.