No one plans to get in a car accident, but if it happens to you, you want to be fully covered for the injuries and damage that can result from a crash. Indiana requires drivers to carry certain types of insurance with minimum coverage amounts, but these minimum amounts don’t usually go far enough to provide complete compensation for the damages you could suffer. Learn more about recommended levels of coverage and what it means to be a fault state from our Indianapolis car accident attorney.
Indiana Is a “Fault” State
So, what does it mean to be a “fault” state? Basically, it gives drivers more options for recovering financial compensation following a car accident. Following a wreck in Indiana, fault will be assigned to one or more of the drivers involved. These drivers then become liable for compensating injured victims of the crash. As the victim, you have the option to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver, file a claim against his insurance policy, or file a claim on your own insurance policy.
What Insurance Is Required in Indiana?
In order to register a vehicle in Indiana, you must demonstrate that you have “financial responsibility” in case something happens. Most drivers fulfill this requirement by purchasing insurance. The minimum amount of coverage required in Indiana is as follows:
- $25,000 per person for death or bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for death or bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for damage to other people’s property
- $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
- $50,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
While these coverage levels will provide some amount of compensation in an accident, when serious injuries occur, it is easy to exceed these amounts in medical bills and other losses. If you are hit by a driver carrying these minimum coverage amounts, you may not be able to recover enough to pay all of your expenses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Help
Although uninsured and underinsured coverage is listed as a requirement in Indiana, you can actually opt out of the coverage by submitting a written request. This is unwise, as this is the part of the policy that will cover you if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance or who does not have enough coverage to pay your expenses. This coverage also comes in when you are injured by a hit-and-run driver.
Carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage could make the difference between a complete physical and financial recovery following an accident that was not your fault and long-term financial difficulties. We advise our clients to always carry this coverage.
Recommended Coverage Amounts
You can, of course, opt for higher coverage amounts to ensure that you will be taken care of in the event of a serious car accident. The insurance adjusters at Allstate Indiana report that the following coverage amounts are what they typically sell in Indiana:
- $100,000 per person for death or bodily injury
- $300,000 per accident for death or bodily injury
- $100,000 per accident for damage to other people’s property
- $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person
- $300,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Given that you have the option to file a claim on your own insurance policy in Indiana, you could benefit in the long run from carrying more insurance. Also, if you or a family member, such as a teen driver, causes an accident, these coverage amounts could protect your other assets from a lawsuit from an injured party. In general, you are wise to carry as much insurance as you can reasonably afford.