The attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC devote their practice to helping injured people in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana recover financial compensation to put their lives back together after serious accidents. Our injury lawyers face insurance companies every day and have seen a number of insurers become aggressive in their attempts to take advantage of those who make claims for personal injuries. Our skilled attorneys do our best to level the playing field against these insurance companies by using our resources and knowledge gained through decades of experience to help our clients.
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless, LLC, we recognize how a serious car accident can disrupt your life and create financial stress. Having good insurance can help protect you from the unexpected. Here we present some Indiana insurance information that we hope will be helpful to consumers. We offer our firm’s professional opinion on the types of insurance coverage every family and individual should have. We also offer our attorneys’ personal opinions on the best and worst insurance companies offering services in Indiana and throughout the nation.
Having a clear understanding of your insurance needs and your legal options will allow you to make better-informed decisions and protect your family’s future.
Purpose of Insurance: Insurance is purchased to protect us financially from the consequences of unfortunate events, such as fire, storms and automobile accidents. It safeguards our assets against the risk of certain calamities.
Insurance Requirements in Indiana
Some types of car insurance are mandatory for drivers in Indiana and some are optional. Let’s start with the required insurance coverage.
Liability—Drivers who operate a car in Indiana are required by the Indiana Department of Insurance to have an auto liability insurance policy that complies with the state’s minimum standards. The state’s minimum required auto liability insurance is commonly referred to as 25/50/10 coverage. It includes $25,000 for bodily injury to one individual, $50,000 for bodily injury to two or more people in one accident, and $25,000 for property damage in an accident.
A driver who operates a vehicle without liability insurance that meets Indiana’s minimum standards is subject to suspension of driving privileges for 90 days to one year.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist—Each auto insurance policy written in Indiana must include coverage for accidents and injuries caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists unless you specifically decline the UM/UIM coverage in writing. The minimum liability limits for UM/UIM are:
- Uninsured motorists: Bodily Injury $25,000/$50,000
- Property Damage: $25,000
- Underinsured Motorists: Bodily Injury: $50,000
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless, we have dealt with many car insurance issues over the years. We strongly recommend that you have insurance to protect you from losses caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists. Indiana ranks among the 10 states with the highest percentage of uninsured drivers, according to a 2017 study by the Insurance Research Council. One out of six drivers in Indiana in uninsured, the study said.
UM/UIM coverage allows you to collect compensation from your own insurance company for your losses if you are hit by a driver who is driving without insurance or a driver who does not have adequate insurance to cover your medical bills and other losses. If you’re in an accident with a driver with no insurance, you’ll be glad you have a UM/UIM policy. If your insurance company denies your uninsured motorist claim, you should talk with an Indianapolis uninsured accident lawyer at Craig, Kelley & Faultless about your legal options. Our dedicated attorneys can offer guidance about your legal options.
Commercial Auto Insurance—If you use your car to perform tasks such as working as a pizza delivery driver or a ridesharing driver in Indianapolis for which you are compensated, then having a commercial auto insurance policy is essential. Your personal auto insurance policy won’t cover you if you are in an accident while you are using your vehicle for commercial activities.
Medical Payments Coverage—Med-pay insurance covers medical bills for you and your passengers as they are incurred after a car accident, up to the limits of the policy, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. It is helpful insurance to have and may give you another option for dealing with medical bills after a serious accident.
Collision Coverage—If you took out a loan to purchase your car, the lender will typically require that you carry a collision insurance policy to cover the full value of the vehicle. A collision policy will pay for repairs to your car if you cause a crash and your vehicle is damaged. A collision policy usually has a deductible that you pay out of pocket before the insurance pays. If you drive an old beater and are not required by a lender to have collision coverage, you may prefer to limit your insurance to liability coverage and save some money on collision coverage. But if you drive an expensive car and the prospect of paying out of pocket to replace it sounds daunting, then having collision insurance may provide you some peace of mind.
Comprehensive Coverage—This policy pays for damages to your vehicle caused by windstorms, fire, theft, and incidents other than collisions.
The Problem: Many insurance companies’ main objective is no longer protecting its policyholders by promptly evaluating, processing and paying valid claims fairly. Instead, these insurance companies are driven only by profits. They take advantage of people when they can least afford it, which is why we recommend being precautious when approaching them after any type of accident. They are some of the worst insurance companies for paying claims and make it difficult to collect what you are owed. They delay paying claims. They often deny valid claims or refuse to pay what is fair. If you insist on being treated fairly, they will aggressively fight you with their team of lawyers. You must counter these inconveniences by contacting a good claim denial accident lawyer in Indianapolis.
For an excellent analysis of how insurance companies are taking advantage of good, honest hard-working people with legitimate claims, please read Delay Deny Defend, by Jay M. Feinman. Mr. Feinman is a Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law.
Another excellent book is From ‘Good Hands” to Boxing Gloves: How Allstate Changed Casualty Insurance in America, by David Berardinelli, J.D., and Michael Freeman, Ph.D., D.C., M.P.H.
The Good and The Bad: If you cause a wreck and injure someone, you expect your automobile insurance company to pay the injured person promptly an amount that is fair and reasonable so that you don’t get sued. You expect your insurance company to pay up to the limits of your insurance policy so that your personal assets are not exposed. If you are injured by someone else, you expect your claim to be handled on its merits and you expect to be treated fairly and reasonably by the insurance company. Based on our daily dealings with insurance companies, we believe that all Indiana insurance companies are not equal. Some are good and some are bad. Some put a greater priority on making a profit than dealing fairly with insured people. The following list is based solely on our opinions. It doesn’t mean that the good can’t be bad on occasion or that the bad can‘t be good on occasion.
Good: 1) Indiana Farm Bureau, 2) Erie, 3) Auto-Owners, 4) Pekin, and 5) USAA
Bad: 1) Founders, 2) Affirmative, 3) Allstate, 4) GEICO, 5) First Chicago, 6) Alpha Vision, 7) Safe Auto, 8) AIG/21st Century, 9) Farmers (Indiana/Illinois), and 10) Liberty Mutual
What Type of Car Insurance Should You Have?
It is important to have the right types of insurance coverage to protect yourself and your family members if you are involved in a car accident. Buying more than the minimum required levels of insurance is a good idea. Your auto insurance protection should include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Indiana has one of the highest percentages of uninsured drivers in the U.S., according to the Insurance Research Council. You should never waive uninsured or underinsured coverage. UM/UIM coverage protects you if you are hit by a driver who has no car insurance or who does not have adequate insurance to pay for your damages.
We are happy to discuss any of the following:
- Gap Insurance
- Uninsured/Underinsurance Coverage
- Medical Payments Coverage
- Limits- how much you should carry, and/or
- Property damage coverages
If you have an insurance coverage question, contact us and we will post your question and our answer. There is no charge for our answers.
At Trial, You Usually Cannot Discuss Insurance. One of the most common questions jurors have during or after a trial is whether the person being sued, the one that caused the wreck, has automobile insurance. Unfortunately, the judge, the lawyers, and the witnesses are not allowed to answer that question. The answer almost always is yes – the person being sued has insurance. In Indiana, we are not allowed to sue the insurance company nor tell the jury that there is coverage.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with Knowledgeable Indiana Injury Attorneys
If you have insurance questions following an accident or serious injury, we can help. Contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC online. We have several satellite offices and meeting locations. We serve clients in Batesville, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Anderson, Muncie and Lafayette, Indiana. We’ll gladly set up an appointment at a location convenient to you or in your home.