Car insurance is something that we all need. It covers us if and when we are in an accident. In 48 of the 50 states, you are required to carry financial liability insurance in order to drive. Typically you cannot register a vehicle without proof of insurance. This goes for cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Remember, if you are in an accident you are expected to—and required to—show your insurance information to the other party. It is wise to fully understand your policy so be sure that you have read it and know what your coverage is. The very first page of your policy is a cover sheet known as the Declarations page. It is a one-page overview of your coverage and you should immediately check this when your new policy arrives. Not only are you checking for the coverage you have selected but also listed here should be any discounts that you were supposed to receive.
You have dozens of companies to choose from regarding auto insurance. Selecting one should be based on more than just the lowest rate. In a future article we will share tips for selecting auto insurance.
Oklahoma is a comparative negligence state. What this means is that the insurance companies involved will determine how much property damage and personal damage each party in the accident is responsible for. If you are in an auto accident, it is important not to discuss the occurrence with the other party, but only to share insurance and contact information and then wait for the police to arrive. It is also recommended that you carry uninsured motorist coverage. This will be explained in a future article as well.
As you know, your insurance policy covers you for certain amounts.
Here are the policy minimums that you are required by law to carry in Oklahoma:
- $25,000 for property damag
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more persons
An additional note: Some people don’t know that even someone who does not own a car still needs to purchase non-owner insurance if they are driving any vehicle.
You may also want to familiarize yourself with the penalties involved in not adhering to the state’s auto insurance laws. If you do not have the minimum required amounts with your policy, or if you do not have insurance, you face fines and suspension of your drivers license and vehicle registration. You may even spend time in jail. Also note that if your auto insurance policy lapses—let’s say you don’t pay your premium and the policy is canceled, you will not be able to renew your vehicle registration until you have proof that your insurance company has reinstated your policy (or proof of a new policy with a different company).
Insurance can be a bit complicated but the responsibility of understanding your auto insurance is yours. Our law firm sees people on a regular basis who did not understand their policy or who, unfortunately, did not have auto insurance. This insurance is important for your own protection, just as having an attorney is important for protecting your rights.