Generally speaking, if you are financing or leasing a brand new vehicle, you should probably have Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance. Buying a new car is a great feeling. But if the worst case scenario happens, such as your new car is stolen or written off in an accident, you could be left with a hefty car loan to pay off and no car.
Like most things in life, there are risks - good or bad - with every decision. Consider the financial costs of paying for insurance and also the risk that comes with not having insurance and losing such a huge asset. Could you afford to be without a car? Could you afford to keep paying for a car loan after the car has been totaled? Only you can make this decision for yourself.
GAP insurance is optional car insurance coverage that helps pay off your auto loan if your car is totaled or stolen and you owe more than the car's depreciated value. Keep in mind, GAP insurance will only cover the difference between your car's actual cash value at the time of loss and the amount you owe on your car loan. Of course, GAP insurance is not useful if the amount owed on the vehicle is less than the current value.
Most likely, yes. Many GAP insurance policies can only be bought if you have collision/comprehensive coverage for the vehicle. Collision coverage pays for damages resulting from a collision, regardless of who is at-fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages from non-collision events such as fire, vandalism or falling objects.
Both of these coverages will only pay for damages up-to the current Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your vehicle. If the damages exceed the value of your car, the insurance company will deem it a total loss.
Imagine a scenario in which you purchase a new car with a loan of $30,000. Your monthly payments are $300. 6 months later, due to an unforeseen circumstance, your car is totaled by your insurance company at a market value of $25,000. You have only paid $1,800 towards your loan at this point. Let's break it down.
|Purchase / Loan Amount||$30,000|
|Amount Paid Towards Loan after 6 months||-$1,800|
|Collision/Comprehensive Pays Actual Cash Value||-$25,000|
|Total Amount Still Owed Without GAP Insurance||$3,200|
|Total Amount Still Owed With GAP Insurance||$0|
In the above scenario, GAP insurance will then pay for the remaining $3,200 owed to the loan company after your collision/comprehensive coverage pays the current cash value of your car.
Just like collision or liability policies, GAP insurance policies have policy limits. Policy limits are the maximum dollar amount an insurance company will pay out for your vehicle. Some have a flat dollar amount and some cover an amount as a percentage of the actual cash value of your car at the time of loss. Make sure to choose a policy that will cover your financial situation.
Call 972-833-8000 for a free consultation regarding your potential injury case. Don't let the insurance company tell you what your case is worth.
We've all heard the horror stories about insurance companies raising insurance premiums for customers who were not at-fault for simply filing a claim. The reality is that this is less likely due to filing a claim and more likely to occur because the insurance company has now deemed the customer to be a higher risk.
Insurance companies charge higher premiums to drivers who pose a high risk of liability versus drivers they consider to be low risk. They take multiple factors into consideration, such as your driving record, your age, the type of vehicle you are insuring, and how you use the vehicle. Essentially, the less likely the insurance company thinks you are to be in an accident, the lower your insurance premiums will be. Be mindful that not all insurance companies play by the same rules.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or by someone who didn't have insurance (or not enough insurance), you should absolutely file a claim on your own policy. Why? Because this is what you've paid your insurance premiums for. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you from this type of loss so that you don't suffer the financial burden alone.
Many insurance companies will not raise rates on their insured after a no-fault claim has been filed while some might. If you find that your insurance rates have gone up significantly, you can try to negotiate a better rate with your current carrier or begin looking for a new insurance carrier. If it is in their best interest to raise rates, it is in your best interest to find an insurance carrier that suits your needs, too.
Did you know that insurance companies in Texas are required to offer Uninsured Motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection? If they fail to offer these coverages to you and obtain your signed, written rejection of these coverages, then this coverage may be applicable to you.
Beware of purchasing a "full coverage" insurance policy. This term is meaningless and causes confusion for many people thinking their injuries would also be covered just to find out they had a minimum liability policy with collision and comprehensive coverage for their vehicle only. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is not required per Texas statute but is highly recommended in case you are seriously injured in a car wreck.
If you've been in an accident and are unsure what to do, consult with our law office today by calling 972-833-8000. Stanley and Associates has over 20 years of combined experience in accident injury law. We fight to protect our clients' rights, help them seek medical treatment, and win compensation for their injuries.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is incredibly useful coverage when you've been involved in an accident whether you or someone else is at-fault. It is often called “no-fault” coverage because it pays out claims to the insured regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Why should you include PIP on your insurance policy? Because it can help cover some of your lost wages and medical bills or expenses incurred whether you caused the accident or not. Liability coverage only pays for damages you cause to other people and Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage will only cover your medical expenses if you did not cause the accident.
Be wary of any insurance agent that tries to sell you a "full coverage" insurance policy. "Full coverage" is a meaningless term as far as insurance coverage goes.
In Texas, insurers are required to offer PIP when purchasing an insurance policy OR they must obtain an authorized signature from the policy holder rejecting the coverage. One caveat is that if there is no signed written rejection, you are covered. It is up to you to reject this coverage.
$2500 is the minimum amount of PIP coverage that auto insurance companies are required to provide. Depending on the company you choose, you can select up to $10,000 or more in PIP coverage if requested. We recommend that you obtain as much PIP coverage as your insurer will sell you due to the astronomical costs of medical care.
Unfortunately, many Texans often do not include this beneficial coverage on their policies because they are unaware that:
The attorneys at Stanley & Associates recommend that drivers include Personal Injury Protection in their auto insurance policy. Due to the rise in the cost of medical bills, we recommend that you carry $10,000 in coverage or more. Even the minimum $2500 can help with out-of-pocket expenses from your injuries.
Policy limits establish the total amount of recovery available to you based on what the policy holder has through their insurance company. This is great for insurance companies but not so great if you have been seriously injured.
In Texas, motorists are required to have liability insurance with minimum limits of 30/60/25. This translates to up to $30,000 for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Of course, some drivers may have higher limits and commercially insured vehicles usually have much higher limits.
Insurance companies are businesses and they want to limit payouts as much as possible. Car insurance companies are notorious for offering low-ball settlements regardless of your injury severity. You should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if this happens to you.
There are many factors insurance companies consider in a car accident. The obvious one is how severe are the injuries?
A person who has significant trauma due to an accident, like a brain bleed or broken bones, may be awarded the full policy limits available to them. Whereas, a person who suffered minor, soft tissue injuries, like whiplash, may receive a minimal award.
Another factor is the potential for multiple claimants. Once there are more than two claimants involved, it is a race to settle first and the amount potentially available to you begins to diminish significantly. There is only so much of a pie to go around - it is possible for one person to take half before the other claimants get a piece.
We know what you're thinking - simply divide the total amount per accident by the number of claimants to determine how much each person gets - but that is not the rule.
Insurance claims in Texas operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Whichever claimant files and settles their claim first has the potential to receive the most money based on their injuries and medical bills.
One of the best things responsible drivers can do for themselves before they're in a car wreck is to ensure they have the right coverages on their own car insurance policy. Our attorneys recommend that you purchase as much insurance as you can, specifically, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Under Insured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).
If you are hit by an at-fault driver, you should contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced law firm will assess the situation, determine your best course of action, and begin building a winning legal strategy.
Stanley & Associates offers free consultations to all prospective clients. There's truly no cost and no obligation - we want you to know your rights and options. Schedule your free consultation today. Call 844-227-9739
In short: liability insurance shields you from being personally liable to pay for damages you caused during an accident.
Texas law requires that all motorists have minimum liability policy limits of 30/60/25. This translates to $30,000 for injuries per person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Of course, you can purchase a higher liability policy if you desire.
Liability Insurance helps protect you and your assets from claims or potential lawsuits if you are found to be at-fault for an accident that caused bodily injury or property damage.
If you cause an accident, your passengers and drivers of other vehicles and their passengers can pursue a claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will pay for the medical expenses of the injured party(s) and repair bills for the damaged property. If a lawsuit is filed against you for the accident, your insurance company will provide a lawyer to defend you in litigation.
If you do not have liability insurance, you could be personally liable for the damages you caused to another in addition to fines and legal ramifications imposed by Texas law.
Here are a few things liability insurance does not cover if you are in an accident:
This list does not include every scenario or circumstance.
Many drivers often choose a liability-only policy because they believe additional coverage is too expensive or that additional coverages are unnecessary. Even worse, many drivers do not have insurance at all. With 1 in 5 Texas drivers being uninsured or under insured, you may want to consider the risk and rising costs of medical expenses when reviewing your insurance policy.
It is worthwhile to search for a reputable insurance company that offers additional coverages, such as Personal Injury Protection or Uninsured Motorist, at a low cost. If you already have insurance, ask your insurance agent if there are any deals for adding additional coverage to your existing policy.
Immediately after an accident in which you were injured.
If you are not at-fault and are filing against someone else, you may face resistance or outright denial of your claim - even with a police report or witnesses on your side. Keep in mind, insurance companies are a business and their goal is to minimize the amount they have to pay on insurance claims whether you are their insured or a claimant.
Does your insurance adjuster always seem to be on vacation? Do they underestimate how much pain and suffering you've been through but won't allow you to see a doctor? Is the insurance company making a low-ball offer for your injuries? If this sounds familiar to you, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Stanley & Associates understands how frustrating dealing with an insurance company can be. We aim to get the best possible award for your case. Call us today at 844-227-9739.
In Texas, it can be difficult to get around without a vehicle of your own and sometimes you have to rely on others to make sure you get from point A to point B. That can mean using a taxi service, like Uber or Lyft, or sharing a ride with a friend or co-worker. Unfortunately, you can still find yourself in an accident caused by your driver.
It's important that passengers take the right steps after an accident to protect their potential claim. It may seem awkward to request insurance information if the at-fault driver is a friend, co-worker, or relative. However, that is exactly what liability insurance is for.
You may seem fine at first, but car wrecks often leave behind latent injuries that can take days, weeks, and in some cases, months to fully manifest. In fact, do not discuss your injuries with the insurance company at all.
Insurance companies are skilled in asking questions that have hidden legal implications in order to minimize your pain and suffering. Even everyday questions, such as "How are you?", can be used against you.
You should refrain from discussing your injuries until you have completed any treatment plans outlined by your doctor. It is best to consult with a personal injury attorney who can handle these conversations on your behalf and file a lawsuit to protect your rights.
You may have additional coverage on your own auto insurance policy, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Uninsured and Under Insured Motorist (UM/UIM), which can be critical if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries.
Car accidents can be very disruptive to your everyday routine. Personal injury attorneys know the ins and outs of the entire process and can develop the best legal strategy for you to win your case.
Stanley and Associates is there for you through the entire process.
When you're already in pain, the last thing you want to deal with is phone calls, paperwork, and arguing with insurance companies. Our team will file all claims for you, handle all communications with the insurance companies, and we work with many physicians to ensure you get the treatment you need.
Best of all, you don't pay us a single dime until we win your case. If we don't win, you don't pay! If you're ready to make a decision, contact us as soon as possible. We are available 24/7 via email or phone call. Call 844-CAR-WREX today!
Being involved in a car accident is a stressful situation. Add in the possibility that the at fault driver may not be insured is another issue to add onto the whole process. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, an estimated 20%, or one out of every five vehicles in Texas, is uninsured. That's about 4 million motorists driving around without insurance in Texas.
It isn't fair nor ideal to have to protect yourself from someone else's inability to have insurance, but having Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your own auto policy can help mitigate some of those physical and financial stresses.
To simplify, when you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver that does not have insurance, you can make an Uninsured Motorist claim with your own insurance to help recoup costs related to your damages.
Under Insured Motorist Coverage will apply if the at-fault driver did have insurance but did not have enough under their policy limits to cover your damages.
Auto insurers in Texas are required to offer UM when purchasing an insurance policy OR they must obtain an authorized signature from the policy holder rejecting the coverage. If the insurance company fails to obtain your signed written rejections, you are covered. It is up to you to reject this coverage, not the insurance company. If you are having difficulty filing your injury claim, contact our office right away.
Both refer to subsets of Uninsured Motorist Coverage. UMBI refers to Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage. This covers your medical expenses in the event you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver was uninsured. UMBI typically covers your passengers for their injuries as well.
UMPD refers to Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage. This covers damage to your car or property after a crash with an at-fault driver who has no car insurance. Pay close attention to this portion of your policy as a payout may be deemed necessary only if the at-fault driver is identified.
A deductible may apply and some UM policies do not include UMPD based on other selected coverages, such as collision coverage.
Remember, the purpose of maintaining liability insurance is to protect yourself and your assets from a potential lawsuit in case you cause an accident. So, if you are hit by someone who does not have liability insurance, that person has opened themselves to fines, penalties, and legal ramifications. You may be able to file a lawsuit against them in pursuit of compensation for your damages.
Keep in mind that very few uninsured drivers have the resources to pay for personal injury damages. You should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and potential claim.
Review your policy to see if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage - this is an incredibly important protection to include on your policy. UM protects you if you’re in an accident with an at fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance - this often includes a hit and run situation in which the at-fault driver flees the scene.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in or around Dallas, contact Stanley & Associates for your free case consultation. Stanley & Associates has represented clients across Texas for over ten years. Our firm has successfully won thousands of cases during this time.
It really depends on who you ask. You might get several different answers from your parents, best friend, or even a co-worker when you're searching for the best auto insurance deals with the best coverages. They all mean well, but it can get overwhelming very quickly if you don't know where to start.
The most important thing to know is that "Full Coverage" is a meaningless term created by salesmen in the insurance industry. Many of our clients were sold "full coverage" insurance only to find out that only their car was protected and none of their injuries would be taken care of after an accident injury. You can imagine how heartbreaking this can be after a catastrophic accident.
Always ask your insurance agent what "full coverage" specifically includes on the insurance policy before signing with them.
It is important to learn the proper terminology and what they mean so you do not pay for an insurance policy that doesn't benefit you. Depending on the insurance company you choose, you may have options for Medical Payment (Med Pay), Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist (UM), and Under Insured Motorist (UIM).
It is important to keep in mind that some of the aforementioned coverages will only apply if you are NOT at fault in a car accident. Med Pay and PIP may apply regardless of fault whereas UM and UIM may only apply if you were not at fault.
Stanley & Associates recommend that drivers include Personal Injury Protection in their auto insurance policy. Due to the rise in the cost of medical bills, we recommend that you carry $10,000 in coverage or more. Even the minimum $2500 can help with out-of-pocket expenses from your injuries.
In addition to selecting the right coverage for your car's insurance policy, it is important to know and understand what kind of insurance coverage you have. Read through the terms and conditions of the insurance policy you are buying before signing.
Not only does it pay to drive safe, but knowing the terms of your insurance policy can save you a great deal of frustration. Often times, insurance companies use language or terms within the policy itself that will make it easier for them to deny a claim even if you were not at fault and did everything right.
Confused or getting the run around while filing your personal injury claim? Ask a lawyer.
Through thousands of first hand conversations with our clients, we have noticed that many people believe they have "full coverage". In reality, they have "full coverage" for their vehicle only which typically includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages.
Many vehicle owners can see the value in insuring their vehicle when purchasing an auto insurance policy. After all, a vehicle can cost thousands of dollars and is a much needed utility when public transportation is not an option.
Sadly, a lot of drivers choose to protect only their car without consideration for their own potential bodily injuries. If you can imagine your car being a total loss, picture what kind of condition you may be in as a result. It doesn't take much to see the value in including personal injury coverage - which can help with lost wages and medical expenses.
In Texas, 1 in 5 drivers do not have liability insurance even though it is required by law. Including personal injury coverages on your own policy can bring you peace of mind if you are involved in an accident with someone who didn't have insurance or does not have enough insurance.
It may seem counterintuitive to file a claim on your own policy if you didn't cause the accident. However, that is exactly why you pay those premiums every month - to protect yourself from the financial losses incurred by someone else.
If something were to happen to your car, you would want to be able to get repairs, another vehicle, or a rental as soon as possible. The same urgency should apply to your injuries after a serious car accident. You may be surprised at how affordable it is to include additional bodily injury coverage.
That means it is time to consult with an attorney. Insurance companies have a team working to minimize your pain, suffering, and injuries so that they don't have to pay. We believe you deserve to have a team on your side fighting for you. Call Stanley & Associates today at 844-227-9739.
The phrases “driving while texting” and “driving while distracted” may seem interchangeable, but “distracted driving” encompasses much more than checking your cell phone at a stoplight.
In 2011, a distracted driving violation raised a driver’s car insurance rates by less than 16%, equating to less than $100 per year in extra premiums. In 2020, a cell phone violation can increase your insurance premiums by 21.38%.
Having traffic tickets, moving violations, and other infractions on your driving record can make it difficult to find affordable car insurance. Most drivers know that speeding tickets affect your insurance rates but many don't realize how much of a premium increase to expect.
From 2019 to 2020, the percent increase on your premium for a cellphone violation stayed the same at 22%, the trend leveling out from its upward climb since 2011. But the penalty for distracted driving has increased notably in recent years as insurers learn more about the costs and more states create laws prohibiting it.
In 2020, getting caught texting or otherwise using your phone while driving will raise your insurance rate by an average of 21.65% ($315) — and in some states more than 45.96%. The total cost to your insurance — the rate impact on your policy for three years — for a texting-while-driving violation is $1,772.
Many drivers simply believe they are better than everyone else on the road at multi-tasking while driving but the human brain cannot handle two thinking tasks at the same time. Your brain toggles quickly between multiple tasks but, when driving, this can slow reaction time and cause crashes.
Be safe by silencing your phone, programming your GPS, and setting up your music while you are still parked.
Most people shop around to get the cheapest rate on car insurance when looking to switch or insure a new driver. But some DON'T BUY IT AT ALL!!
That may surprise you, but according to 2019 data from the Insurance Research Council, it is estimated that 12.6% of motorists across the United States do NOT have insurance. They also further estimated that 8.3% of Texas drivers are uninsured.
Different states have different insurance requirements so it is important that you maintain coverage for your own vehicle at all times. Florida has the highest rate of uninsured motorists with an estimated rate of 26.7%! Not only that, residents of Florida are not required to have bodily injury liability. This means if you're hit by a Florida motorist, your odds of them being insured are less than 1 in 4. Even worse, the chances of compensation for your injuries are even slimmer. Not cool, Florida.
When someone calls our office after they've been hit by an Uninsured driver, most of the time, the person who hit them didn't even get a ticket for being uninsured. We often ask our clients if they have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, commonly referred to as UIM, and they reply that they have "Full Coverage". However, this type of coverage often refers to Collision which will only cover damages to your vehicle - not your injuries.
Uninsured Motorist (UIM) and Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage will cover your bodily injuries when you're hit by someone without insurance or someone without enough insurance. These are two separate types of coverage that are typically bundled together. Many motorists choose not to include these coverages due to financial concerns. We ask that you consider the financial implications of being seriously injured by someone without insurance.
Most people buy car insurance and then forget the coverage they have. The last thing you want to do is suffer through your injuries if you've been hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Take a minute today to review your coverage to see if you're protected if you get hit by an uninsured driver.