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The Role of Excess Insurance Coverage in Personal Injury Cases  

Apr 17, 2015 | Legal Terminology

What is Excess Insurance Coverage?

Concerning a car insurance policy, an excess policy means you have an insurance policy that is over and above your basic policy. Now, if you are doctor and have $1.3 million as insurance coverage, most of the time you are also going to have an excess insurance policy, which means you will have a policy over 1.3 million and typically it will be $3.9 million.

Why do People have Excess Insurance Coverage?

Accident Case

It benefits you if the accused in a personal injury case has excess insurance.

People have excess insurance policies to protect themselves. This is to ensure that if they are found responsible because of their carelessness, and the injuries they have caused are over and above the limits of their basic insurance policies, the excess insurance can kick in and cover the excess amount.

How is Excess Insurance Coverage Important to a Victim?

You can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for the harms and losses that you have suffered. It could be a car accident case, or a medical malpractice case in the state of New York, one of the key things your attorney will look for is the available insurance. How much insurance does the other driver have on his car, or what available insurance does the doctor have?

Does the doctor have a professional corporation that has separate insurance? Similarly, does the driver of the other car have a homeowner’s policy? If he has a homeowner’s policy, a policy of excess insurance could be available, over and above whatever policy limits he has.

It is critical when you suffer an injury because of someone else’s carelessness, to determine how much insurance they have and whether they have excess insurance which could cover your injuries, if your injuries are significant, permanent, or disabling. The main purpose of your personal injury case is to claim fair compensation for the harms and injuries you have suffered. It will take time to calculate the true value of your injuries and the losses you have suffered.

Your medical records will show the types of injuries you have suffered and the treatment you have undergone so far. A medical expert will also be called in at trial to testify about your prognosis and the costs you are likely to incur in the future because of the injuries you have sustained.

For instance, if you have suffered injuries and losses worth $2.5 million due to the carelessness of a doctor and the doctor only carries basic coverage of $1.3 million. In such an instance, the shortfall will have to be collected from the doctor’s personal assets, and if such an amount cannot be recovered, you may not attain the full value of your injuries.

The Focal Point

However, when the doctor has extra insurance coverage, the doctor does not have to pay from his personal assets and you too can recover the true value of your injuries – certainly in a shorter time period or in a more simplified manner.