Trying to understand your insurance coverage after a serious car accident in Iowa can be a daunting task. You may be asking yourself what your auto insurance covers and what your next steps are.
The best way to understand what your insurance will cover is to review your policy. You will need to view your insurance declaration page to understand what exactly your policy covers.
What is an Insurance Declaration Page?
This is a document put together by your insurance company that forms part of your policy, sometimes referred to as a “DEC page.” This page will normally include your policy number, name and address, information you need to report a claim, a description of what the policy covers, as well as deductible information and other policy details.
This page is important because it outlines how and when a claim will be paid, what the policy limits are, and your premiums.
When you purchased your car insurance, you received a multi-page policy document that details everything about your coverage. If you still have that document, the declaration page should be the first page.
If your policy documents have been lost or misplaced, the fastest way to get the information is by calling your auto insurance company and asking them to send you a copy of your policy. You can contact your local agent or the customer service line – whatever you are more comfortable with.
Alternatively, your insurance company may allow you to access your insurance documents online. If that’s the case, log in to their website and print the declaration page for your records. You’ll want to have the hard copy handy so you can bring it to your free initial consultation.
How to Read Your Iowa Car Insurance Declaration Page
At the top of the page, you’ll find your policy number and basic information. You’ll need this information when you file your claim. Because your policy number may change with each new policy period, make sure you’re looking at the most recent declaration page.
Next, there will be a section that details your premiums and deductibles. Your premium is the amount of money you pay each month for your insurance coverage. Your deductible is the amount of money you’ll have you pay out of pocket before your insurance company will start covering costs. Typical deductibles are between $500-$1,000.
Nearly every state requires drivers to buy car insurance, but the type of coverage you have will vary based on the type of auto policy you purchased. Your declarations page will outline what type of coverage you purchased and how much of that coverage you have. This is called your limits of liability, which is the maximum amount of money the car insurance company is obligated to pay.
This can seem confusing, but if you look at each line individually, it will be easier to understand. In this example, the policyholder’s car insurance company will pay $250,000 for each person who is hurt in an accident, but only $500,000 maximum for each accident. For example, if there were 3 people in the car, each with injuries that will cost more than $250,000 each, the car insurance company will no longer pay any bills after $500,000.
Do You Need an Attorney to Help With Your Iowa Car Accident?
Insurance companies have a bad reputation for leaving their policyholders in the dark and trying to wiggle out of paying the full policy limits. This can leave you with expenses that you have to pay and bill collectors coming to your door. Scheduling a free consultation with an experienced Iowa car accident attorney is a painless way to find out what compensation you’re entitled to from your auto insurance company and to help you think through the claim process.
If you would like to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation with one of our Iowa personal injury lawyers, call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1783 today.