Many people are not aware that in New York (and perhaps in other states as well, so you should check where you live) an automobile insurer can offer No-Fault insurance with a $200 deductible or no deductible. Where your policy has a deductible for No-Fault this means that if you make claims against the No-Fault portion of your automobile insurance for medical expenses stemming from an accident, you will have to pay the first $200 of any medical treatment. This is true even if you didn’t cause the accident. It is important to note that where you have a No-Fault deductible and someone else has caused the accident, you won’t be able to recover that deductible from the negligent person because the deductible is part of your insurance policy. While this may not seem fair the truth is that you are paying a lesser premium on your automobile insurance policy because of this deductible (even though you may not have realized it).
While it is absolutely your choice to have the $200 deductible, many people are not aware that they have this deductible because they don’t closely check their policy. Very often people don’t learn about the deductible until they have made a claim and then it’s too late.
The lesson you should take from this is to check your policy at each renewal and ask your broker or the insurance company if there have been any changes since the last renewal. Since the policy itself can be confusing, if you’re not sure about something you see in your policy it’s best to ask the insurance agent or the insurance companyand clarify it. If you don’t get a straight answer it might be a good idea to find someone who gives you a straight answer. Remember that the laws governing insurance vary from state to state so make sure to check with someone who knows your state’s laws.
As always, whenever you have a legal question it’s best to consult an attorney in your area.
Til next time,
Turning legalese into legal ease,