An insurance policy refers to an arrangement that provides compensation for losses. In order for a loss to be eligible for compensation, it must meet specific criteria. Insurance policies outline details such as:
- The time frame in which the loss occurred
- The type of damage incurred (e.g. car collision in auto insurance, or hail damage in homeowners insurance)
- Exclusions that do not apply
- Individuals or properties that are covered
- The method used to calculate and pay out compensation
Insurance contracts are complex documents that contain all of these details and more. Insurance companies draft these contracts and use an insurance adjuster to assess whether a loss is covered and to determine the amount of compensation.
Types of Insurance in Texas:
Insurance is a form of protection that can be obtained for various types of losses. Some common forms of insurance include:
- Auto insurance: to cover losses related to car accidents.
- Homeowners insurance: to cover losses related to damage to your home or property.
- Life insurance: to provide financial support to your loved ones in the event of your death.
- Health insurance: to cover medical expenses.
- Renter’s insurance: to provide protection for renters.
- Travel insurance: to cover losses incurred during travel.
- Pet insurance: to cover veterinary expenses for your pets.
- General business liability coverage: to cover losses related to business operations.
- Flood insurance: to cover losses due to flooding.
Every insurance policy has a set limit, known as policy limits, which is the maximum amount of money an insurance company will pay to the policyholder or to someone else who has been affected. The policy limits depend on the type of insurance and the terms of the policy.
Auto Insurance Policies in Texas:
In the state of Texas, drivers are legally required to carry minimum levels of auto insurance coverage, making it likely that auto insurance will come into play after any type of car accident. As a fault state, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for covering related losses. It’s advisable for all drivers to have coverage for property damage and bodily injury.
Here is the general process of how insurance is handled in the aftermath of a car accident:
- Notification to insurance companies – Both drivers involved in the accident should immediately inform their insurance companies. Even if you are not at fault, it’s still a good idea to let your insurance company know what happened. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance or you have specific coverage options like collision or uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may still compensate you for losses.
- Initial investigation – Once a claim is made, the insurance company will conduct an initial investigation to gather information on what happened, who was involved, and the extent of damages and injuries. This information helps determine if their insurance policy was triggered and how much they may need to pay out.
- Claim acceptance or denial – Based on the findings of the initial investigation, the insurance company will decide to either deny or accept the claim. The policy and circumstances of the case will determine if the insurance company will pay, defend a lawsuit, or decline to help.
- Further investigation – If the insurance company determines there is coverage, they will conduct a more in-depth investigation. This may include gathering medical records, witness statements, and using experts. This process can continue for an extended period and may continue even after a lawsuit is filed.
- Negotiation or litigation – The insurance company will either try to reach a settlement with you or force you to go to court. Your personal injury attorney can help communicate with the insurance company or present your case in court.
It’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies aim to make a profit and may try to minimize your claim or pay as little as possible after a car accident. An experienced accident lawyer can help.