Mansell, Engel & Cole

Does my insurance cover that?

Driving a car may be routine for most people, but it’s never predictable. A daily commute might include merging traffic, broken stoplights, animals crossing the street, children at play, or loose debris falling from a truck. That’s just a shortlist of possible issues. There are no limits to what might happen as you travel.

Auto insurance is meant to protect your investment in your car, a tool that’s likely one of your most important possessions. Whether another car hits you or if a natural disaster wreaks havoc, the idea is that your insurance policy will pay for most of the damages. Damages don’t just mean your vehicle either. It might be medical expenses related to a crash.

What is bad faith insurance?

Most people have heard the term “bad faith insurance.” It’s unfortunately well-known because too many policy holders experience the problem. Insurance companies are in business to make money. Their interests aren’t the same as yours.

At a basic level, the term means that your insurance company didn’t meet its obligations. Examples include a lowball offer or it could be a denied claim when you have full-coverage. Your policy is a contract and your insurance provider needs to follow deliver on their promise.

Some commonly covered issues

Because driving has so many different challenges, there are many improperly denied claims or issues that people think their insurance does not cover. Every insurance company has different criteria to their policies and, further complicating matters, Oklahoma law is different than other states’ too.

Because of these variables, it’s impossible to provide a complete guide to universally covered claims. That said, the National Education Association has a useful article online that explores what their members receive. Much of this list transcends their coverage and may be part of your own if you have basic collision or comprehensive auto insurance.

  • Animal collisions
  • Windshield dings
  • Natural disasters
  • Human-caused disasters
  • Stolen vehicles
  • Borrowed vehicles

Decoding the fine print

Even following the list above, there are exceptions and “what-ifs.” A man-made disaster may not be covered if insurance proves it was avoidable. A vehicle you lent to a friend, knowing his license was revoked, may not qualify. An accident caused by faulty brakes that you repaired yourself could prove costly.

If you have ever tried to read an insurance policy, you understand how complicated the fine print can be. Whenever you file an insurance claim, you should do independent research into your policy and seek outside help if needed to make sure that you are receiving the coverage you have paid for.

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