Car insurance is critical for anyone who owns or drives a vehicle in the United States. In Nevada and other states across the country, drivers are mandated by law to carry certain types of automobile insurance. While complying with insurance laws is important, it is prudent to buy additional coverage that goes above and beyond your state’s minimum requirements. This is because just one car accident can result in thousands of dollars in vehicle repair or replacement costs not including the medical expenses that follow if there are injuries involved. For this reason, it is important to understand the types of car insurance policies as knowing so can be the difference between financial ruin and monetary compensation for losses suffered due to a crash.
First Party versus Third Party Claims
To put it simply, there are two types of car insurance — first party and third party. The first party is, essentially, the owner of the policy. The second party is the insurance company itself. The third party is another person involved in a claim (who is not the owner of the policy or the insurance company) for damages.
A first party insurance policy covers the policy owner as well as any of his or her passengers, in certain circumstances. These include when:
- The policy owner is not at fault for the accident;
- The crash was a hit-and-run, or other similar accident were the at-fault driver cannot be found;
- No party involved was named as being at fault for the accident;
- The driver who was named to be at fault for the crash does not have the funds to cover the damages the first party incurred in the accident.
First Party Coverage Types
There are many types of first party coverage available to car owners and drivers. The most important types include collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and medical payments.
- Collision coverage: In the event of a crash, the policy owner’s automobile will be repaired or replaced irrespective of who was at fault for the accident;
- Comprehensive coverage: When a policy owner’s car is lost or damaged due to another incident that was not a crash — such as flood, vandalism, fire, or theft — both the vehicle and the personal property inside the car will be repaired or replaced;
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage: If the policy owner is in a car accident with another driver who does not have enough insurance coverage or has no insurance coverage at all, this pays for the policy owner and the passenger’s losses;
- Medical payment coverage: Referred to as MedPay, this covers the medical and funeral expenses of the policy owner and his or her passengers in the event of a crash irrespective of who was at fault for the accident;
- Personal injury protection coverage (PIP): Covers certain damages not covered under MedPay as well as lost wages, no matter who is at fault for the crash.
Experienced Nevada Attorneys
We know that filing an insurance claim can be confusing and frustrating. The skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Matt Pfau Law Group are here to help you and your loved ones through this difficult time. Contact us today to learn how we can fight for the compensation you deserve.