Even if you were not at fault, most people involved in a serious crash find that they need to access their own car insurance policy for cover medical bills and expenses.

But if you are not familiar with what it covers, you may not get the full value of your policy.

What to look for in your car insurance policy

In your car insurance policy, look for the Policy Declarations page.

This is a summary of your policy, including:

  • Policy number and dates;
  • Types of coverage;
  • Deductibles; and
  • Policy coverage amounts.

The Policy Declarations page is the quickest way to understand your benefits after a collision.

Look for Personal Injury Protection, Collision Coverage, and Liability Coverage.

Example Car Insurance Policy - Policy Declarations page

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) 

PIP pays for initial medical expenses, wage loss, and other costs. This coverage is mandatory in Oregon insurance policies, but not in Washington.

If you have PIP—or Medical Payments coverage—you will want to give this information to your doctors and medical providers.

PIP may also cover wage loss, household assistance, and other expenses.

Note that there may be a separate insurance adjuster for PIP.  You can confirm your benefits with the PIP adjuster, and ask what type of documentation you need to provide to access your benefits.

Example Car Insurance Policy - Policy Declarations page

Collision Coverage

This policy add-on covers your property damage: it may be the fastest way to have your vehicle repaired or replaced after a crash.

If the other driver was at fault, your insurance will likely seek reimbursement from the adverse driver’s insurance company for these costs.

You will be responsible for your deductible.

Example Car Insurance Policy - Policy Declarations page

Liability Coverage

Washington and Oregon require all drivers to have a minimum auto insurance policy with $25,000 in coverage for death or injury to another person, and $50,000 in coverage total.

But, if the driver that caused the crash is uninsured, or their insurance doesn’t cover all of the costs and damages, then you may need to rely on your own Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM).

Example Car Insurance Policy - Policy Declarations page

This is just basic information, which is not intended to provide you with any legal advice or opinions. It may not apply to claims outside of Washington or Oregon, or to your claim

You should talk with to insurance broker yearly, just to review your coverage and make adjustments to your insurance policy.

Questions about using your car insurance policy after a crash? Contact Coluccio Law for a free consultation.


How to report a car crash and start an insurance claim