In the wake of the tragic events in Waukesha various funding pages have emerged to assist those affected. One area that could be overlooked is first party insurance benefits. A first party insurance benefit applies to insureds covered by the policy. A common example is health insurance, but a less common example are coverages under an auto insurance policy.
Auto insurance policies cover injuries arising out of incidents involving automobiles. Three types of first party insurance coverages are implicated in the tragedy that could help the victims. Each of these coverages would apply to policies that the victims purchased. They were bought to protect the victims in the event they were injured in an incident involving an automobile.
First, Medical Expense Coverage. This optional endorsement to an auto insurance policy covers the usual and customary medical and funeral expenses incurred by an insured person because of a motor vehicle accident. The coverage can be limited by dollars and by time in which the expense is incurred in relationship to the incident giving rise to the expense.
Second, Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Uninsured Motorist Coverage is required by law in Wisconsin with minimum benefits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The coverage is a first party benefit available to the victims if they are an insured under an auto insurance policy. Often these policies serve to replace or supplement the insurance carried by the at-fault-party. The coverage typically is limited to compensatory damages which are things like the pain and suffering, emotional distress stemming from a physical injury, or the medical bills or lost wages one suffers following an incident.
Third, Umbrella Policy with an optional endorsement extending limits of the Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. If the victims have access to an auto insurance policy which also has an umbrella policy adding additional limits to those coverages provided it is possible this additional limit could follow the promise owed in the primary coverage form—making more funds available to pay compensatory damages.
How could the victims gain access to their insurance coverage?
A claim can be made by contacting their insurance agent, the insurance company directly, or by retaining an attorney and they would contact the insurance company on their behalf.
David Princeton, CPCU, AMIM, AIC, CSRP, is the principal consultant of AdvocateClaimService.com, an expert witness, and contributing author of Be Intentional: Culture. He attends Marquette University Law School and previously served as a director of corporate risk and as a lead claim specialist.
Advocate Claim Service takes the anxiety out of claims. Our mission is the strategic presentation of claims to get policyholders the benefits owed under an insurance policy. Claim consulting services are provided to Policyholders, Brokers, and Attorneys. As licensed insurance professionals, we have over 35 years of insurance claims experience across a wide array of coverage lines. In addition, our Insurance and Risk Management consulting practice is well suited to provide clarity to just about any insurance program.
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