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10 Best Car Insurance Companies of 2017

The best auto insurance companies have more than just competitive prices; they also offer versatile coverage options, superior customer service, a solid financial report, and an excellent shopping experience. I researched all of those factors and discovered that only four of the nation’s biggest insurers impressed me enough that I would recommend them to family and friends. Use our tool below to find the best coverage available in your area:

Price is the single most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers. Choosing a policy based on rates alone could cost far more out of pocket when filing a claim, however. Statistically speaking, that will happen to each driver at least once every 18 years. It pays to get the right amount of coverage, whether it’s the cheapest package or not.

The Simple Dollar’s Top Picks for Best Auto Insurance Companies

Best Overall: Amica

Best Customer Service: State Farm

Best Policy Options: The Hartford

Best for Military: USAA

 

How I Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies

First, I conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 auto insurance providers. I gathered data on 86 different features (like a 24/7 claims center or discounts for electric vehicles), organized them into 12 categories, and scored each company on a 100-point scale. Below are the categories I used, along with the weight each one was given in the test.

Next I incorporated learnings from auto experts, insured drivers, and third-party studies into my evaluation and calculated the final scores. I organized this research into three distinct categories, which are outlined below.

Claims and Price Satisfaction: I looked at J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports, Insure.com’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2014, and Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. I also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.

Ease of Shopping: I applied for quotes from over 15 auto insurance companies to evaluate the shopping experience. I also considered J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Insurance Purchase Experience Ratings, which asked customers about their personal take on local agents, call-center representatives, and websites.

Financial Strength Ratings: I used A.M. Best to gauge financial stability. Any company with a “B” grade or below is considered vulnerable, so I chose companies with an “A-” or above.

 

The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2017

Amica: Best Overall Car Insurance Company

Amica was the strongest company overall in my research, and ranked number two in J.D. Power’s 2015 customer satisfaction report — that means out of 11,469 surveyed drivers, it had the second highest satisfaction rating among more than 20 different companies. It also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers. Consumer Reports even noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.

Pros

A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Amica received a perfect score in 4 out of 7 categories in J.D. Power’s 2015 auto insurance study.

High financial stability ratings: Amica boasts a “Superior” financial stability rating from A.M. Best, which is the highest rating available.

No repair facility restrictions: Unlike most every other insurer, Amica has zero restrictions on which body shop you use for repairs.

“Platinum Choice” coverage: Amica offers an additional tier of coverage called Platinum Choice, which costs more, but includes identity fraud monitoring, full glass coverage, prestige rental coverage, and rewards for good driving.

Best array of coverages: Amica offers the most driver and vehicle coverages of all my top recommendations. Its list includes GAP insurance and interior vehicle coverage, which aren’t offered by State Farm, The Hartford, or USAA.

 

Cons

Quote process is less than desirable: Whether you start online or over the phone, you will eventually wind up on the phone to get an official quote — that can tack an extra 20 to 30 minutes to the process.

Fewer driver discount opportunities: Amica is missing a few key driver discounts, including pre-pay, low mileage, and military discounts. Consequently, it scored only 46 out of 100 in my driver discount evaluation.

Few online resources: There are a few FAQs on the site, but Amica lacks in-depth online materials to help customers get a complete grasp on their purchases without having to talk to someone. Additionally, some policy changes require direct assistance from an Amica agent, which can be time-consuming.

 

State Farm: Best Car Insurance Company for Customer Service and Interaction

State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per Insurance Journal in 2016. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2015, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers I surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.

It is incredibly easy to get in touch with State Farm. You can call one of the company’s 18,000 agents, go online, or even send a picture of your damaged car with your smartphone using the Pocket Agent mobile app. Compare that to Amica, which doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent via an app, or file a claim through an agent. State Farm also gets high marks for a pain-free shopping experience that lets prospective customers call their local agent or chat with a representative online if they have any questions.

Pros

Superior claims handling: No other insurer makes it easier to file a claim — a fact corroborated by its high service rating, 18,000 agents nationwide, and excellent mobile app. Sure, most other auto insurers offer the basic trifecta of phone, app, and email contact to agents, but State Farm’s is the easiest to use by far.

Great financial standing: State Farm has an A.M. Best outlook of stable, and a “Superior” overall rating — the highest given.

Best online quote tool: Out of all the competition, State Farm has the simplest online quote tool. In less than five minutes, it’ll guide you completely through the process, replete with thorough examples of coverage options.

 

Cons

Missing a few common driver discounts: Like Amica, State Farm lacks two extremely common discounts: pay-in-full, and automatic pay. These two discounts don’t save a ton of money, but are definitely nice options to have — and are offered by my third pick, The Hartford.

Lacks a couple of important coverages: Unlike its competitors, State Farm doesn’t offer stacked uninsured motorist or new car replacement coverages. That could be a deal breaker for someone who lives in a state with an incredibly high rate of uninsured drivers.

 

The Hartford: Best Car Insurance Company for Policy Options

The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. In fact, it had the highest score in my 12-category feature evaluation (92 out of 100). It also offers a wide range of policy options and benefits (including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase) and was the only insurer to score a perfect 100 in my vehicle-discount evaluation.

Pros

Mechanical breakdown coverage: Mechanical breakdown insurance helps cover the cost of repairs that aren’t covered by your car’s warranty. The Hartford is the only one of my top picks that includes this coverage.

Useful policy benefits: The company provides not only a solid set of coverages, but also a great selection of policy benefits. For instance, frequent travelers will appreciate The Hartford’s towing and roadside assistance programs.

Excellent purchase experience: The Hartford is one of two national providers to receive a perfect “Overall Purchase Experience” score from J.D. Power.

 

Cons

Less-than-average claims satisfaction: The Hartford received a perfect score in my claims management evaluation, but according to J.D. Power, customers are still less than satisfied — it received only a 2-star rating for service interaction.

Fewest online educational resources: The Hartford offers the fewest online learning materials among this field of competitors.

 

USAA: Best Car Insurance Company for Members of the Military

Throughout my research, I found that the company’s stellar reputation holds true. If you are a member of the US armed forces, or are related to one, there is no better option than USAA.

It is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country. The only downside is its limited availability: USAA only services the immediate families of active and former members of the military. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared to its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.

Pros

Rated no. 1 nationally for purchase experience: USAA received the only perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2016 report.

Solid financial stability: A.M. Best gives USAA the highest possible stability rating: “Superior.”

 

Cons

Membership restrictions: USAA is only available to members of the military and their immediate family.

Missing three key vehicle coverages: USAA doesn’t offer GAP insurance, interior vehicle coverage, or new car replacement coverage.

 

Other Car Insurance Companies to Consider

Progressive

Progressive is worth noting due to its variety of discounts and special coverages that could shave a decent amount of green off your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to reward you based upon your driving habits. Have an anti-theft device? There’s a discount for that too. The company also offers pet injury coverage — which is included with collision, and comes standard in most states. However, Progressive’s scores across the board were only average, and I couldn’t justify recommending it over my top picks. And, despite what Flo, Progressive’s famous, peppy insurance cashier, would lead you to believe, its mobile apps ratings average out to just under 3 out of 5 stars.

Erie Insurance

If you live in the South, Midwest, or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, but didn’t make it into my top four recommendations due to limited availability — it only serves residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and certain parts of DC.

Outside of that, Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees, and loss of earnings. It also has particularly comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash (this is usually an add-on policy with most insurers).

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so if you prefer talking to a human being, Auto-Owners is a great choice. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2015 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.

States Serviced by Auto-Owners:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

Choosing the Right Amount of Coverage

Let’s say I live in Florida and cause an accident that injures another person to the tune of $40,000. If I only have the state’s minimum bodily injury protection ($10,000 per person, $20,000 per accident), I’d be responsible for the remaining $30,000. But, if I had purchased more than Florida’s minimum — say $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident — I wouldn’t have to pay a single dime out of pocket.

Sure, upgraded coverage means a higher monthly premium. But which would you rather do: Pay an extra $80 a month or wind up owing a lump sum of $30,000 out of pocket? It would take an accident-free 30 years to spend the same amount on the extra coverage. And remember: statistically speaking, you are going to get in a wreck every 18 years. Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a fender bender, but if the worst should happen, you’ll appreciate being fully covered.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to understand what type of coverages you need, and how much coverage you need, before you start shopping for a policy. And in the same vein, it’s also crucial to compare rates that include more than your state’s minimum required coverages (which you can find online at your state’s DMV). You do not want to be the victim of a serious accident only to find out after the fact that you’re underinsured.

Below is a comparison of the coverages offered by my top four auto insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverages

Bodily Injury Liability: Coverage against bodily injuries to others in an accident that is your fault.

Personal Injury Protection: Coverage for injuries sustained by the driver or any passengers, often including medical bills and lost wages.

Property Damage Liability: Coverage against property damage to another party in an accident that is your fault.

Rental Car Coverage: Coverage for your rental car if it is damaged or stolen.

Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Coverage that allows you to combine or “stack” the individual limits of coverage on multiple insured vehicles in the same household.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: Coverage that protects against property damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Pet Injury Coverage: Coverage for injuries to your pets sustained in an auto accident.

Collision: Coverage against any damage resulting from a collision.

Comprehensive: Coverage against any non-collision vehicle damage including fire, theft, or vandalism.

GAP Insurance: Coverage that pays the difference between the actual value of a totaled car and the balance remaining on an auto loan.

Interior Vehicle Coverage: Coverage of personal belongings inside of the car, like your clothes, sound system, or purse.

New Car Replacement: Coverage that will replace a totaled car with a brand-new version if it is less than one year old.

You should shop for a policy every two years

Contrary to popular belief, car insurance companies don’t just calculate rates on risk alone. It goes much deeper than that. Welcome to the world of “price optimization,” which is the practice of setting rates based upon how much insurers think customers are comfortable paying. Simply put, it’s a way to maximize profit.

In 2013, Earnix found that 45 percent of larger insurance companies analyze a ridiculous amount of customers’ personal data (like social media posts, credit scores, and web shopping habits). Then, they churn the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around. By doing so, they can charge you based upon a perception of your level of comfort, raise profit margins, and do it all without causing you to lift an eyebrow.

The best way to prevent falling victim to this practice is to shop for a new policy every one to two years. Companies are aware of your online activity, so the more quotes you get, the less likely you are to be tagged as someone who won’t jump ship for a better deal. Plus, it helps you find a policy rate that reflects you as a person and isn’t based on predictive analytics.

Should I use an agent or go online?

Depending on which companies you consider, you may have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.

Using Captive Agents

The biggest benefit to captive agents is that many aren’t primarily motivated by commission. That means they have less of a reason to “sell you” and more of a reason to spend quality time educating you. Going with a captive agent also makes sense if you’re already committed to a particular company. Additionally, they will know their company’s policies and coverages from top to bottom.

Using Independent Agents

Independent agents have special access with several companies and help you to find the best rate available. However, some companies pay higher commission than others, and that means you may face pressure to choose a particular company or coverage plan.

During my research, I interacted with several independent agents who refused to give me a single detail about higher-priced plans. Despite my persistence, I was repeatedly asked, “Why would you want to consider something that costs more?” and did not get the information I wanted. On the flip side, if your rates go up after committing to a policy, independent agents are best-suited to help you negotiate a lower price.

Shopping online

Some companies allow customers to do business directly online. If you’re a self-starter, this could very well be the most convenient option. And in some cases, it may also be the cheapest option.

The biggest downside to buying a policy on your own is the risk of underinsuring yourself. Buying the wrong policy, or a policy that doesn’t have state-mandated coverage levels, could cost you a pretty penny if the worst should happen.

10 Best Car Insurance Companies of 2017

The best auto insurance companies have more than just competitive prices; they also offer versatile coverage options, superior customer service, a solid financial report, and an excellent shopping experience. I researched all of those factors and discovered that only four of the nation’s biggest insurers impressed me enough that I would recommend them to family and friends. Use our tool below to find the best coverage available in your area:

Price is the single most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers. Choosing a policy based on rates alone could cost far more out of pocket when filing a claim, however. Statistically speaking, that will happen to each driver at least once every 18 years. It pays to get the right amount of coverage, whether it’s the cheapest package or not.

The Simple Dollar’s Top Picks for Best Auto Insurance Companies

Best Overall: Amica

Best Customer Service: State Farm

Best Policy Options: The Hartford

Best for Military: USAA

 

How I Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies

First, I conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 auto insurance providers. I gathered data on 86 different features (like a 24/7 claims center or discounts for electric vehicles), organized them into 12 categories, and scored each company on a 100-point scale. Below are the categories I used, along with the weight each one was given in the test.

Next I incorporated learnings from auto experts, insured drivers, and third-party studies into my evaluation and calculated the final scores. I organized this research into three distinct categories, which are outlined below.

Claims and Price Satisfaction: I looked at J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports, Insure.com’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2014, and Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. I also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.

Ease of Shopping: I applied for quotes from over 15 auto insurance companies to evaluate the shopping experience. I also considered J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Insurance Purchase Experience Ratings, which asked customers about their personal take on local agents, call-center representatives, and websites.

Financial Strength Ratings: I used A.M. Best to gauge financial stability. Any company with a “B” grade or below is considered vulnerable, so I chose companies with an “A-” or above.

 

The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2017

Amica: Best Overall Car Insurance Company

Amica was the strongest company overall in my research, and ranked number two in J.D. Power’s 2015 customer satisfaction report — that means out of 11,469 surveyed drivers, it had the second highest satisfaction rating among more than 20 different companies. It also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers. Consumer Reports even noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.

Pros

A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Amica received a perfect score in 4 out of 7 categories in J.D. Power’s 2015 auto insurance study.

High financial stability ratings: Amica boasts a “Superior” financial stability rating from A.M. Best, which is the highest rating available.

No repair facility restrictions: Unlike most every other insurer, Amica has zero restrictions on which body shop you use for repairs.

“Platinum Choice” coverage: Amica offers an additional tier of coverage called Platinum Choice, which costs more, but includes identity fraud monitoring, full glass coverage, prestige rental coverage, and rewards for good driving.

Best array of coverages: Amica offers the most driver and vehicle coverages of all my top recommendations. Its list includes GAP insurance and interior vehicle coverage, which aren’t offered by State Farm, The Hartford, or USAA.

 

Cons

Quote process is less than desirable: Whether you start online or over the phone, you will eventually wind up on the phone to get an official quote — that can tack an extra 20 to 30 minutes to the process.

Fewer driver discount opportunities: Amica is missing a few key driver discounts, including pre-pay, low mileage, and military discounts. Consequently, it scored only 46 out of 100 in my driver discount evaluation.

Few online resources: There are a few FAQs on the site, but Amica lacks in-depth online materials to help customers get a complete grasp on their purchases without having to talk to someone. Additionally, some policy changes require direct assistance from an Amica agent, which can be time-consuming.

 

State Farm: Best Car Insurance Company for Customer Service and Interaction

State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per Insurance Journal in 2016. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2015, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers I surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.

It is incredibly easy to get in touch with State Farm. You can call one of the company’s 18,000 agents, go online, or even send a picture of your damaged car with your smartphone using the Pocket Agent mobile app. Compare that to Amica, which doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent via an app, or file a claim through an agent. State Farm also gets high marks for a pain-free shopping experience that lets prospective customers call their local agent or chat with a representative online if they have any questions.

Pros

Superior claims handling: No other insurer makes it easier to file a claim — a fact corroborated by its high service rating, 18,000 agents nationwide, and excellent mobile app. Sure, most other auto insurers offer the basic trifecta of phone, app, and email contact to agents, but State Farm’s is the easiest to use by far.

Great financial standing: State Farm has an A.M. Best outlook of stable, and a “Superior” overall rating — the highest given.

Best online quote tool: Out of all the competition, State Farm has the simplest online quote tool. In less than five minutes, it’ll guide you completely through the process, replete with thorough examples of coverage options.

 

Cons

Missing a few common driver discounts: Like Amica, State Farm lacks two extremely common discounts: pay-in-full, and automatic pay. These two discounts don’t save a ton of money, but are definitely nice options to have — and are offered by my third pick, The Hartford.

Lacks a couple of important coverages: Unlike its competitors, State Farm doesn’t offer stacked uninsured motorist or new car replacement coverages. That could be a deal breaker for someone who lives in a state with an incredibly high rate of uninsured drivers.

 

The Hartford: Best Car Insurance Company for Policy Options

The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. In fact, it had the highest score in my 12-category feature evaluation (92 out of 100). It also offers a wide range of policy options and benefits (including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase) and was the only insurer to score a perfect 100 in my vehicle-discount evaluation.

Pros

Mechanical breakdown coverage: Mechanical breakdown insurance helps cover the cost of repairs that aren’t covered by your car’s warranty. The Hartford is the only one of my top picks that includes this coverage.

Useful policy benefits: The company provides not only a solid set of coverages, but also a great selection of policy benefits. For instance, frequent travelers will appreciate The Hartford’s towing and roadside assistance programs.

Excellent purchase experience: The Hartford is one of two national providers to receive a perfect “Overall Purchase Experience” score from J.D. Power.

 

Cons

Less-than-average claims satisfaction: The Hartford received a perfect score in my claims management evaluation, but according to J.D. Power, customers are still less than satisfied — it received only a 2-star rating for service interaction.

Fewest online educational resources: The Hartford offers the fewest online learning materials among this field of competitors.

 

USAA: Best Car Insurance Company for Members of the Military

Throughout my research, I found that the company’s stellar reputation holds true. If you are a member of the US armed forces, or are related to one, there is no better option than USAA.

It is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country. The only downside is its limited availability: USAA only services the immediate families of active and former members of the military. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared to its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.

Pros

Rated no. 1 nationally for purchase experience: USAA received the only perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2016 report.

Solid financial stability: A.M. Best gives USAA the highest possible stability rating: “Superior.”

 

Cons

Membership restrictions: USAA is only available to members of the military and their immediate family.

Missing three key vehicle coverages: USAA doesn’t offer GAP insurance, interior vehicle coverage, or new car replacement coverage.

 

Other Car Insurance Companies to Consider

Progressive

Progressive is worth noting due to its variety of discounts and special coverages that could shave a decent amount of green off your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to reward you based upon your driving habits. Have an anti-theft device? There’s a discount for that too. The company also offers pet injury coverage — which is included with collision, and comes standard in most states. However, Progressive’s scores across the board were only average, and I couldn’t justify recommending it over my top picks. And, despite what Flo, Progressive’s famous, peppy insurance cashier, would lead you to believe, its mobile apps ratings average out to just under 3 out of 5 stars.

Erie Insurance

If you live in the South, Midwest, or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, but didn’t make it into my top four recommendations due to limited availability — it only serves residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and certain parts of DC.

Outside of that, Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees, and loss of earnings. It also has particularly comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash (this is usually an add-on policy with most insurers).

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so if you prefer talking to a human being, Auto-Owners is a great choice. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2015 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.

States Serviced by Auto-Owners:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin

Choosing the Right Amount of Coverage

Let’s say I live in Florida and cause an accident that injures another person to the tune of $40,000. If I only have the state’s minimum bodily injury protection ($10,000 per person, $20,000 per accident), I’d be responsible for the remaining $30,000. But, if I had purchased more than Florida’s minimum — say $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident — I wouldn’t have to pay a single dime out of pocket.

Sure, upgraded coverage means a higher monthly premium. But which would you rather do: Pay an extra $80 a month or wind up owing a lump sum of $30,000 out of pocket? It would take an accident-free 30 years to spend the same amount on the extra coverage. And remember: statistically speaking, you are going to get in a wreck every 18 years. Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a fender bender, but if the worst should happen, you’ll appreciate being fully covered.

That’s why it’s incredibly important to understand what type of coverages you need, and how much coverage you need, before you start shopping for a policy. And in the same vein, it’s also crucial to compare rates that include more than your state’s minimum required coverages (which you can find online at your state’s DMV). You do not want to be the victim of a serious accident only to find out after the fact that you’re underinsured.

Below is a comparison of the coverages offered by my top four auto insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverages

Bodily Injury Liability: Coverage against bodily injuries to others in an accident that is your fault.

Personal Injury Protection: Coverage for injuries sustained by the driver or any passengers, often including medical bills and lost wages.

Property Damage Liability: Coverage against property damage to another party in an accident that is your fault.

Rental Car Coverage: Coverage for your rental car if it is damaged or stolen.

Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Coverage that allows you to combine or “stack” the individual limits of coverage on multiple insured vehicles in the same household.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: Coverage that protects against property damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Pet Injury Coverage: Coverage for injuries to your pets sustained in an auto accident.

Collision: Coverage against any damage resulting from a collision.

Comprehensive: Coverage against any non-collision vehicle damage including fire, theft, or vandalism.

GAP Insurance: Coverage that pays the difference between the actual value of a totaled car and the balance remaining on an auto loan.

Interior Vehicle Coverage: Coverage of personal belongings inside of the car, like your clothes, sound system, or purse.

New Car Replacement: Coverage that will replace a totaled car with a brand-new version if it is less than one year old.

You should shop for a policy every two years

Contrary to popular belief, car insurance companies don’t just calculate rates on risk alone. It goes much deeper than that. Welcome to the world of “price optimization,” which is the practice of setting rates based upon how much insurers think customers are comfortable paying. Simply put, it’s a way to maximize profit.

In 2013, Earnix found that 45 percent of larger insurance companies analyze a ridiculous amount of customers’ personal data (like social media posts, credit scores, and web shopping habits). Then, they churn the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around. By doing so, they can charge you based upon a perception of your level of comfort, raise profit margins, and do it all without causing you to lift an eyebrow.

The best way to prevent falling victim to this practice is to shop for a new policy every one to two years. Companies are aware of your online activity, so the more quotes you get, the less likely you are to be tagged as someone who won’t jump ship for a better deal. Plus, it helps you find a policy rate that reflects you as a person and isn’t based on predictive analytics.

Should I use an agent or go online?

Depending on which companies you consider, you may have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.

Using Captive Agents

The biggest benefit to captive agents is that many aren’t primarily motivated by commission. That means they have less of a reason to “sell you” and more of a reason to spend quality time educating you. Going with a captive agent also makes sense if you’re already committed to a particular company. Additionally, they will know their company’s policies and coverages from top to bottom.

Using Independent Agents

Independent agents have special access with several companies and help you to find the best rate available. However, some companies pay higher commission than others, and that means you may face pressure to choose a particular company or coverage plan.

During my research, I interacted with several independent agents who refused to give me a single detail about higher-priced plans. Despite my persistence, I was repeatedly asked, “Why would you want to consider something that costs more?” and did not get the information I wanted. On the flip side, if your rates go up after committing to a policy, independent agents are best-suited to help you negotiate a lower price.

Shopping online

Some companies allow customers to do business directly online. If you’re a self-starter, this could very well be the most convenient option. And in some cases, it may also be the cheapest option.

The biggest downside to buying a policy on your own is the risk of underinsuring yourself. Buying the wrong policy, or a policy that doesn’t have state-mandated coverage levels, could cost you a pretty penny if the worst should happen.

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in 2017

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in 2017

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, in 2005, over 43,000 people lost their lives on our nation’s roads and highways. This equates to nearly 117 deaths every day, and has resulted in motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death for persons aged 3 to 33. In fact, it is estimated that the economic cost of vehicle crashes in the United States in 2000 was over $230 billion. In Nevada, there were 427 traffic deaths in 2005, a steady increase from the 314 statewide deaths in 2001.

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Nevada Car Accidents


I was just involved in an automobile accident in Nevada. What should I do?
Do not say anything regarding the facts of the accident. This includes making an apology or admission. These statements can be used against you to avoid paying you for your injuries. They may also be used against you in a criminal or traffic proceeding. If you do receive a citation (i.e. speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.), you should NOT plead guilty. You are strongly advised to call our office to appear in court on your behalf to fight the citation.

Second, if you are in pain, go to a doctor immediately. The inusrance company will likely argue that you did not sustain serious injuries if you wait several days or weeks to seek medical treatment.


How do I know if I am entitled to compensation for injuries as the result of a car accident? Also, what types of damages can I recover for?
The law entitles victims of car accidents to recover damages and compensation for their injuries sustained in the accident. You likely have a good personal injury claim if:
  • Your injury is a direct result of the car accident.
  • The accident was caused due to another person’s negligence or fault and not your own. The law does not allow you to be compensated for injuries you caused to yourself.

If we can establish that someone else was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation and damages for the following:

  • Medical expenses incurred in the treatment of your injuries.
  • Any future medical costs.
  • Compensation for actual loss of wages.
  • Loss of future wages.
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Damages for mental pain and anguish.

Do I need to notify MY insurance company about the accident?
Your insurance company probably requires you to notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. This is usually necessary to process all or part of your claim; however, do not give any type of recorded statement to your agent or carrier without our firm being present.

Should I speak with the other person's insurance company if they contact me?
No. Do NOT discuss your case with anyone until you have met with one of our representatives.

First, the other driver's insurance company may try to blame you for the accident and sue YOU for damages. They have a team of accident “experts” that they will use to show you were at fault.

Second, the process may be confusing for you, especially if you are likely in shock, angry, sick, and hurt from the accident. You may also be taking pain medication. This is not the right frame of mind to deal with the insurance company. Remember, the adjuster’s job is to minimize any exposure for the insurance company (i.e. avoid paying a claim).

In an attempt to blame your condition on anyone but their insured, they will ask you to sign authorizations for release of your medical records. This will likely be a broad release giving them FULL access to ALL of your records, even if the records have nothing to do with your accident. To avoid compensating you, they will then try to blame any current injuries on your unrelated past medical history.

Third, if you claim to have lost time from work due to your injuries, the adjuster will ask for a work release. This gives him access to your ENTIRE employee file--including personnel records. You claim that you missed work because you were injured? The insurance adjuster will point out that you missed 5 days of work (when your child was sick), and tell you they will not compensating you for lost wages for your injuries—missing work is a habit for you.

Fourth, the adjuster will attempt to convince you that you were not really injured. He will tell you that your medical bills were generated from diagnostic tests and were not used for treatment. Maybe it took you a few days to realize how truly injured you were and you took some over-the-counter remedies thinking your pain would go away. He may tell you that “everyone takes aspirin” and that your injuries are not serious. Remember, he is trying to minimize your injuries to avoid paying you.

Fifth, you may end up in collections because of your medical bills. The adjuster will tell you, “just send me all the bills” giving you the impression that he will pay the bills as he receives them. This is not the case. He will not pay any bills until your case is finished and you have signed a settlement agreement. In the meantime, your bills have been unpaid, sent to collections, and negatively affect your credit report.

Once you hire an attorney, you do not speak to the adjuster. The attorney handles all correspondence for you. Further, the attorney will review and approve any and all releases to make sure they are limited to your current situation.


Should I apologize to other driver?
You should NEVER admit fault for the accident to anyone, including the other driver, passengers, relatives, and/or police officers. You may have signed a citation from the investigating officer. This action was not, however, an admission of guilt. It was simply a promise to appear in court.

Who is responsible for my medical treatment and expenses?
Until the case is resolved, you are responsible for any treatment and expenses not covered by any insurance policies you have. If you do not have funds to pay for health care, you can still obtain treatment if the health care provider agrees to accept a lien for payment. By placing a lien on your potential settlement, the caregiver is willing to forego payment during the course of treatment. Instead, he will be paid when the case is settled.

We can also assist you in obtaining Medicare or Medicaid to ensure you receive the treatment you desperately need.

The at-fault party of the accident and/or their insurance company is ultimately responsible. In the event the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may help in paying expenses and other damages if you purchased this coverage. Expenses may also be paid from PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage if you have paid for this coverage or if the driver in the auto in which you were a passenger had this coverage.

What happens if the other party is not insured?
Check your own coverage. You may have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Other types of insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, may be in place to pay you for your injuries. If there is no insurance available, we will perform an asset search to determine if there is money available for you elsewhere.

What do I do if I am unable to work due to the accident?
You may be entitled to receive lost wages from injury due to your accident. Generally, we do NOT recommend that you take time off from work without a written order from your doctor. This could hurt your chances of successfully recovering money. It is important for you to keep a detailed list of days missed and income lost due to the accident.

Do I really need a lawyer?
You have the right to legal counsel to protect your rights when someone else’s negligence has caused damage to you and/or your property. Hiring an injury lawyer sends the insurance company the message that you are serious about your claim. You will also have the security of having your personal rights protected. The at-fault insurance company may try to tell you that you do not need a lawyer. The person giving you that advice is probably not a lawyer and may even be breaking the law by attempting to practice law without a license.

We have seen many instances where an adjuster for the at-fault insurance company convinces a claimant that they do not need a lawyer. This usually results in a settlement that is far less than the person should have received had they obtained a lawyer. In some cases, it is then too late for us to help that claimant. We can be the most help when you come to see us immediately after the accident.


Can I fire my attorney?
Yes. You may fire your attorney for any reason. If you feel your rights are not being protected, calls are not being answered, and/or your case is not being handled properly, we can still help you; however, you may still be required to pay your former attorney for time spent on your case and/or fees incurred on your behalf.

Will I need to file a lawsuit?
The overwhelming majority of cases settle before there is a need for a lawsuit. In certain circumstances, a lawsuit becomes necessary. For example, maybe the at-fault insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith with us. If we cannot settle your case satisfactorily we will advise you on taking your case to trial.

Our firm is experienced in both negotiating of your behalf and trying cases. We will always act in and advise you about your best interests.

How much money can I expect for the property damage to my car?
You should be offered either the amount that it will take to restore your car to its condition prior to the accident, or the fair market value of your car if the car is considered totaled. There are different methods used by insurance companies to determine these values. Whatever insurance company we are dealing with, be assured that your settlement will be fair and reasonable.

How long will it take to settle my case?
All claims are handled individually on a case-by-case basis. No two cases are exactly alike. In general, we must wait until you are finished with treatment before we can proceed with settlement negotiations. In part, the amount of money you will receive depends on the actual amount of your medical bills. If we attempt to settle your case before you finish with treatment (before you stop accumulating bills), we won’t know the full amount of your damages and risk under-settling your case.

We can proceed to settlement negotiations the day your doctor releases you from treatment. Some client receive settlement checks 60 to 90 days from the date they are finished with treatment.

How much money can I expect to receive from my case?
We cannot accurately estimate the value of your case until we know all of the surrounding facts and circumstances. Unknown factors can sometimes come up or problems arise that may change the financial value of your case. No matter what the circumstances may be, our skilled attorneys at Mueller, Hinds, and Associates, PC will consult with your treating doctors and other pertinent experts to give you an estimate that we feel is legally fair and reasonable. We will then work hard to get you the maximum amount of money possible the quickest way possible.
We offer free consultations. If you would like to sit down with us we may be able to give you a range value on your case.

Can I recover for injuries or death of a loved one?
If you have lost a parent, spouse, or child to a car accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent parties. In addition to the above, if you were financially dependant on someone, you can bring a claim of wrongful death if that person was killed in a car accident even if you are not actually related to the deceased.

Here too, you need to establish that the death was caused due to the negligent actions of the defendant and happened because of the car accident. In a wrongful death claim, you are entitled to receive damages for the following:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of sexual relationships
  • Actual financial losses, if the person killed was the provider of the household or you were dependant on them financially.
  • Mental pain and suffering


    I just received an offer from the insurance company. How was the offer calculated?
    Quite simply, the insurance company is offering you the lowest amount of money they think you will accept. The amount you are offered usually has no bearing Insurance companies are in the business of making money for their shareholders. Despite what they may tell you, they do not have your best interest in mind. The offer is probably the lowest offer they think you will accept. The latest trick is for an insurance company to offer you a strange figure (example $2,749.48). They are hoping that you will think they made some type of calculation through a formula to arrive at this figure. There is no specific formula for determining the value of a personal injury case. An offer of a strange figure is most likely a psychological trick to make you think there is a specific formula and that is all you are entitled to.


    I was involved in a hit and run accident in Nevada. What are my rights?
    If your insurance policy has uninsured motorist coverage, you can generally collect for the same damages that you could if the person that hit you was caught and had insurance. Usually, this means that generally you can collect for your medical bills, lost time from work, and any pain and suffering you incurred and will incur as a result of the accident.


    Why do attorneys want to be contacted immediately following an accident?
    The insurance company investigates the accident from the moment it was reported. Unlike an attorney, they do not work for you and are not attempting to help you. Rather, they are looking for anything that will lower their exposure. Remember, an insurance company is a corporation whose function is to make a profit for its shareholders. By contacting an attorney immediately, you will have someone working for YOU and gathering evidence on your behalf.


    How many car accidents are there in the US and how many people are killed or seriously injured as a result of these?
    On average, there are more than 6 million car accidents on the roads of the US, annually. More than 3 million people are injured in car accidents, with more than 2 million of these injuries being permanent.


    What are some of the reasons for car accidents and fatalities?
    In more than half of all car accident fatalities, the deceased were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Even with seat belts being mandatory, a vast majority of people choose to disregard this safety precaution and end up losing their lives because of it. Many car accidents are caused by people talking to other passengers while driving, and others due to drivers playing with the radio while driving. A large percentage is because of eating or drinking while driving, and 25% of car accidents are caused due to talking on cell phones while at the wheel of the car. These car accident statistics are sad enough on their own, the saddest part being that they could have easily been avoided had drivers been paying more attention to driving and less to other activities.


    What are the legal aspects regarding compensation for car accident injuries/fatalities?
    If you have been injured in a car accident, or have lost someone because of a car accident, you can file a case of wrongful death claim, depending on the circumstance.

    Those who are involved in car accidents usually suffer serious injuries or death. Various types of car accident injuries include brain injury, injury to the spine, neck injuries, fractures and broken bones, head injuries, etc.

    Such serious injuries can often leave the victims in severe pain and discomfort, not to mention making them disabled for life. Car accident injuries can also result in the loss of eyesight or hearing. Even if your car accident injuries are treated properly, you may still end up with some permanent disability or disfigurement.

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in 2017

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in 2017

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, in 2005, over 43,000 people lost their lives on our nation’s roads and highways. This equates to nearly 117 deaths every day, and has resulted in motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death for persons aged 3 to 33. In fact, it is estimated that the economic cost of vehicle crashes in the United States in 2000 was over $230 billion. In Nevada, there were 427 traffic deaths in 2005, a steady increase from the 314 statewide deaths in 2001.

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Nevada Car Accidents


I was just involved in an automobile accident in Nevada. What should I do?
Do not say anything regarding the facts of the accident. This includes making an apology or admission. These statements can be used against you to avoid paying you for your injuries. They may also be used against you in a criminal or traffic proceeding. If you do receive a citation (i.e. speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.), you should NOT plead guilty. You are strongly advised to call our office to appear in court on your behalf to fight the citation.

Second, if you are in pain, go to a doctor immediately. The inusrance company will likely argue that you did not sustain serious injuries if you wait several days or weeks to seek medical treatment.


How do I know if I am entitled to compensation for injuries as the result of a car accident? Also, what types of damages can I recover for?
The law entitles victims of car accidents to recover damages and compensation for their injuries sustained in the accident. You likely have a good personal injury claim if:
  • Your injury is a direct result of the car accident.
  • The accident was caused due to another person’s negligence or fault and not your own. The law does not allow you to be compensated for injuries you caused to yourself.

If we can establish that someone else was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation and damages for the following:

  • Medical expenses incurred in the treatment of your injuries.
  • Any future medical costs.
  • Compensation for actual loss of wages.
  • Loss of future wages.
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Damages for mental pain and anguish.

Do I need to notify MY insurance company about the accident?
Your insurance company probably requires you to notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. This is usually necessary to process all or part of your claim; however, do not give any type of recorded statement to your agent or carrier without our firm being present.

Should I speak with the other person's insurance company if they contact me?
No. Do NOT discuss your case with anyone until you have met with one of our representatives.

First, the other driver's insurance company may try to blame you for the accident and sue YOU for damages. They have a team of accident “experts” that they will use to show you were at fault.

Second, the process may be confusing for you, especially if you are likely in shock, angry, sick, and hurt from the accident. You may also be taking pain medication. This is not the right frame of mind to deal with the insurance company. Remember, the adjuster’s job is to minimize any exposure for the insurance company (i.e. avoid paying a claim).

In an attempt to blame your condition on anyone but their insured, they will ask you to sign authorizations for release of your medical records. This will likely be a broad release giving them FULL access to ALL of your records, even if the records have nothing to do with your accident. To avoid compensating you, they will then try to blame any current injuries on your unrelated past medical history.

Third, if you claim to have lost time from work due to your injuries, the adjuster will ask for a work release. This gives him access to your ENTIRE employee file--including personnel records. You claim that you missed work because you were injured? The insurance adjuster will point out that you missed 5 days of work (when your child was sick), and tell you they will not compensating you for lost wages for your injuries—missing work is a habit for you.

Fourth, the adjuster will attempt to convince you that you were not really injured. He will tell you that your medical bills were generated from diagnostic tests and were not used for treatment. Maybe it took you a few days to realize how truly injured you were and you took some over-the-counter remedies thinking your pain would go away. He may tell you that “everyone takes aspirin” and that your injuries are not serious. Remember, he is trying to minimize your injuries to avoid paying you.

Fifth, you may end up in collections because of your medical bills. The adjuster will tell you, “just send me all the bills” giving you the impression that he will pay the bills as he receives them. This is not the case. He will not pay any bills until your case is finished and you have signed a settlement agreement. In the meantime, your bills have been unpaid, sent to collections, and negatively affect your credit report.

Once you hire an attorney, you do not speak to the adjuster. The attorney handles all correspondence for you. Further, the attorney will review and approve any and all releases to make sure they are limited to your current situation.


Should I apologize to other driver?
You should NEVER admit fault for the accident to anyone, including the other driver, passengers, relatives, and/or police officers. You may have signed a citation from the investigating officer. This action was not, however, an admission of guilt. It was simply a promise to appear in court.

Who is responsible for my medical treatment and expenses?
Until the case is resolved, you are responsible for any treatment and expenses not covered by any insurance policies you have. If you do not have funds to pay for health care, you can still obtain treatment if the health care provider agrees to accept a lien for payment. By placing a lien on your potential settlement, the caregiver is willing to forego payment during the course of treatment. Instead, he will be paid when the case is settled.

We can also assist you in obtaining Medicare or Medicaid to ensure you receive the treatment you desperately need.

The at-fault party of the accident and/or their insurance company is ultimately responsible. In the event the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may help in paying expenses and other damages if you purchased this coverage. Expenses may also be paid from PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage if you have paid for this coverage or if the driver in the auto in which you were a passenger had this coverage.

What happens if the other party is not insured?
Check your own coverage. You may have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Other types of insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, may be in place to pay you for your injuries. If there is no insurance available, we will perform an asset search to determine if there is money available for you elsewhere.

What do I do if I am unable to work due to the accident?
You may be entitled to receive lost wages from injury due to your accident. Generally, we do NOT recommend that you take time off from work without a written order from your doctor. This could hurt your chances of successfully recovering money. It is important for you to keep a detailed list of days missed and income lost due to the accident.

Do I really need a lawyer?
You have the right to legal counsel to protect your rights when someone else’s negligence has caused damage to you and/or your property. Hiring an injury lawyer sends the insurance company the message that you are serious about your claim. You will also have the security of having your personal rights protected. The at-fault insurance company may try to tell you that you do not need a lawyer. The person giving you that advice is probably not a lawyer and may even be breaking the law by attempting to practice law without a license.

We have seen many instances where an adjuster for the at-fault insurance company convinces a claimant that they do not need a lawyer. This usually results in a settlement that is far less than the person should have received had they obtained a lawyer. In some cases, it is then too late for us to help that claimant. We can be the most help when you come to see us immediately after the accident.


Can I fire my attorney?
Yes. You may fire your attorney for any reason. If you feel your rights are not being protected, calls are not being answered, and/or your case is not being handled properly, we can still help you; however, you may still be required to pay your former attorney for time spent on your case and/or fees incurred on your behalf.

Will I need to file a lawsuit?
The overwhelming majority of cases settle before there is a need for a lawsuit. In certain circumstances, a lawsuit becomes necessary. For example, maybe the at-fault insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith with us. If we cannot settle your case satisfactorily we will advise you on taking your case to trial.

Our firm is experienced in both negotiating of your behalf and trying cases. We will always act in and advise you about your best interests.

How much money can I expect for the property damage to my car?
You should be offered either the amount that it will take to restore your car to its condition prior to the accident, or the fair market value of your car if the car is considered totaled. There are different methods used by insurance companies to determine these values. Whatever insurance company we are dealing with, be assured that your settlement will be fair and reasonable.

How long will it take to settle my case?
All claims are handled individually on a case-by-case basis. No two cases are exactly alike. In general, we must wait until you are finished with treatment before we can proceed with settlement negotiations. In part, the amount of money you will receive depends on the actual amount of your medical bills. If we attempt to settle your case before you finish with treatment (before you stop accumulating bills), we won’t know the full amount of your damages and risk under-settling your case.

We can proceed to settlement negotiations the day your doctor releases you from treatment. Some client receive settlement checks 60 to 90 days from the date they are finished with treatment.

How much money can I expect to receive from my case?
We cannot accurately estimate the value of your case until we know all of the surrounding facts and circumstances. Unknown factors can sometimes come up or problems arise that may change the financial value of your case. No matter what the circumstances may be, our skilled attorneys at Mueller, Hinds, and Associates, PC will consult with your treating doctors and other pertinent experts to give you an estimate that we feel is legally fair and reasonable. We will then work hard to get you the maximum amount of money possible the quickest way possible.
We offer free consultations. If you would like to sit down with us we may be able to give you a range value on your case.

Can I recover for injuries or death of a loved one?
If you have lost a parent, spouse, or child to a car accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent parties. In addition to the above, if you were financially dependant on someone, you can bring a claim of wrongful death if that person was killed in a car accident even if you are not actually related to the deceased.

Here too, you need to establish that the death was caused due to the negligent actions of the defendant and happened because of the car accident. In a wrongful death claim, you are entitled to receive damages for the following:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of sexual relationships
  • Actual financial losses, if the person killed was the provider of the household or you were dependant on them financially.
  • Mental pain and suffering


    I just received an offer from the insurance company. How was the offer calculated?
    Quite simply, the insurance company is offering you the lowest amount of money they think you will accept. The amount you are offered usually has no bearing Insurance companies are in the business of making money for their shareholders. Despite what they may tell you, they do not have your best interest in mind. The offer is probably the lowest offer they think you will accept. The latest trick is for an insurance company to offer you a strange figure (example $2,749.48). They are hoping that you will think they made some type of calculation through a formula to arrive at this figure. There is no specific formula for determining the value of a personal injury case. An offer of a strange figure is most likely a psychological trick to make you think there is a specific formula and that is all you are entitled to.


    I was involved in a hit and run accident in Nevada. What are my rights?
    If your insurance policy has uninsured motorist coverage, you can generally collect for the same damages that you could if the person that hit you was caught and had insurance. Usually, this means that generally you can collect for your medical bills, lost time from work, and any pain and suffering you incurred and will incur as a result of the accident.


    Why do attorneys want to be contacted immediately following an accident?
    The insurance company investigates the accident from the moment it was reported. Unlike an attorney, they do not work for you and are not attempting to help you. Rather, they are looking for anything that will lower their exposure. Remember, an insurance company is a corporation whose function is to make a profit for its shareholders. By contacting an attorney immediately, you will have someone working for YOU and gathering evidence on your behalf.


    How many car accidents are there in the US and how many people are killed or seriously injured as a result of these?
    On average, there are more than 6 million car accidents on the roads of the US, annually. More than 3 million people are injured in car accidents, with more than 2 million of these injuries being permanent.


    What are some of the reasons for car accidents and fatalities?
    In more than half of all car accident fatalities, the deceased were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Even with seat belts being mandatory, a vast majority of people choose to disregard this safety precaution and end up losing their lives because of it. Many car accidents are caused by people talking to other passengers while driving, and others due to drivers playing with the radio while driving. A large percentage is because of eating or drinking while driving, and 25% of car accidents are caused due to talking on cell phones while at the wheel of the car. These car accident statistics are sad enough on their own, the saddest part being that they could have easily been avoided had drivers been paying more attention to driving and less to other activities.


    What are the legal aspects regarding compensation for car accident injuries/fatalities?
    If you have been injured in a car accident, or have lost someone because of a car accident, you can file a case of wrongful death claim, depending on the circumstance.

    Those who are involved in car accidents usually suffer serious injuries or death. Various types of car accident injuries include brain injury, injury to the spine, neck injuries, fractures and broken bones, head injuries, etc.

    Such serious injuries can often leave the victims in severe pain and discomfort, not to mention making them disabled for life. Car accident injuries can also result in the loss of eyesight or hearing. Even if your car accident injuries are treated properly, you may still end up with some permanent disability or disfigurement.

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in 2017

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in 2017

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, in 2005, over 43,000 people lost their lives on our nation’s roads and highways. This equates to nearly 117 deaths every day, and has resulted in motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death for persons aged 3 to 33. In fact, it is estimated that the economic cost of vehicle crashes in the United States in 2000 was over $230 billion. In Nevada, there were 427 traffic deaths in 2005, a steady increase from the 314 statewide deaths in 2001.

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Nevada Car Accidents


I was just involved in an automobile accident in Nevada. What should I do?
Do not say anything regarding the facts of the accident. This includes making an apology or admission. These statements can be used against you to avoid paying you for your injuries. They may also be used against you in a criminal or traffic proceeding. If you do receive a citation (i.e. speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc.), you should NOT plead guilty. You are strongly advised to call our office to appear in court on your behalf to fight the citation.

Second, if you are in pain, go to a doctor immediately. The inusrance company will likely argue that you did not sustain serious injuries if you wait several days or weeks to seek medical treatment.


How do I know if I am entitled to compensation for injuries as the result of a car accident? Also, what types of damages can I recover for?
The law entitles victims of car accidents to recover damages and compensation for their injuries sustained in the accident. You likely have a good personal injury claim if:
  • Your injury is a direct result of the car accident.
  • The accident was caused due to another person’s negligence or fault and not your own. The law does not allow you to be compensated for injuries you caused to yourself.

If we can establish that someone else was at fault, you may be able to recover compensation and damages for the following:

  • Medical expenses incurred in the treatment of your injuries.
  • Any future medical costs.
  • Compensation for actual loss of wages.
  • Loss of future wages.
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Damages for mental pain and anguish.

Do I need to notify MY insurance company about the accident?
Your insurance company probably requires you to notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. This is usually necessary to process all or part of your claim; however, do not give any type of recorded statement to your agent or carrier without our firm being present.

Should I speak with the other person's insurance company if they contact me?
No. Do NOT discuss your case with anyone until you have met with one of our representatives.

First, the other driver's insurance company may try to blame you for the accident and sue YOU for damages. They have a team of accident “experts” that they will use to show you were at fault.

Second, the process may be confusing for you, especially if you are likely in shock, angry, sick, and hurt from the accident. You may also be taking pain medication. This is not the right frame of mind to deal with the insurance company. Remember, the adjuster’s job is to minimize any exposure for the insurance company (i.e. avoid paying a claim).

In an attempt to blame your condition on anyone but their insured, they will ask you to sign authorizations for release of your medical records. This will likely be a broad release giving them FULL access to ALL of your records, even if the records have nothing to do with your accident. To avoid compensating you, they will then try to blame any current injuries on your unrelated past medical history.

Third, if you claim to have lost time from work due to your injuries, the adjuster will ask for a work release. This gives him access to your ENTIRE employee file--including personnel records. You claim that you missed work because you were injured? The insurance adjuster will point out that you missed 5 days of work (when your child was sick), and tell you they will not compensating you for lost wages for your injuries—missing work is a habit for you.

Fourth, the adjuster will attempt to convince you that you were not really injured. He will tell you that your medical bills were generated from diagnostic tests and were not used for treatment. Maybe it took you a few days to realize how truly injured you were and you took some over-the-counter remedies thinking your pain would go away. He may tell you that “everyone takes aspirin” and that your injuries are not serious. Remember, he is trying to minimize your injuries to avoid paying you.

Fifth, you may end up in collections because of your medical bills. The adjuster will tell you, “just send me all the bills” giving you the impression that he will pay the bills as he receives them. This is not the case. He will not pay any bills until your case is finished and you have signed a settlement agreement. In the meantime, your bills have been unpaid, sent to collections, and negatively affect your credit report.

Once you hire an attorney, you do not speak to the adjuster. The attorney handles all correspondence for you. Further, the attorney will review and approve any and all releases to make sure they are limited to your current situation.


Should I apologize to other driver?
You should NEVER admit fault for the accident to anyone, including the other driver, passengers, relatives, and/or police officers. You may have signed a citation from the investigating officer. This action was not, however, an admission of guilt. It was simply a promise to appear in court.

Who is responsible for my medical treatment and expenses?
Until the case is resolved, you are responsible for any treatment and expenses not covered by any insurance policies you have. If you do not have funds to pay for health care, you can still obtain treatment if the health care provider agrees to accept a lien for payment. By placing a lien on your potential settlement, the caregiver is willing to forego payment during the course of treatment. Instead, he will be paid when the case is settled.

We can also assist you in obtaining Medicare or Medicaid to ensure you receive the treatment you desperately need.

The at-fault party of the accident and/or their insurance company is ultimately responsible. In the event the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may help in paying expenses and other damages if you purchased this coverage. Expenses may also be paid from PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage if you have paid for this coverage or if the driver in the auto in which you were a passenger had this coverage.

What happens if the other party is not insured?
Check your own coverage. You may have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Other types of insurance, such as homeowner’s insurance, may be in place to pay you for your injuries. If there is no insurance available, we will perform an asset search to determine if there is money available for you elsewhere.

What do I do if I am unable to work due to the accident?
You may be entitled to receive lost wages from injury due to your accident. Generally, we do NOT recommend that you take time off from work without a written order from your doctor. This could hurt your chances of successfully recovering money. It is important for you to keep a detailed list of days missed and income lost due to the accident.

Do I really need a lawyer?
You have the right to legal counsel to protect your rights when someone else’s negligence has caused damage to you and/or your property. Hiring an injury lawyer sends the insurance company the message that you are serious about your claim. You will also have the security of having your personal rights protected. The at-fault insurance company may try to tell you that you do not need a lawyer. The person giving you that advice is probably not a lawyer and may even be breaking the law by attempting to practice law without a license.

We have seen many instances where an adjuster for the at-fault insurance company convinces a claimant that they do not need a lawyer. This usually results in a settlement that is far less than the person should have received had they obtained a lawyer. In some cases, it is then too late for us to help that claimant. We can be the most help when you come to see us immediately after the accident.


Can I fire my attorney?
Yes. You may fire your attorney for any reason. If you feel your rights are not being protected, calls are not being answered, and/or your case is not being handled properly, we can still help you; however, you may still be required to pay your former attorney for time spent on your case and/or fees incurred on your behalf.

Will I need to file a lawsuit?
The overwhelming majority of cases settle before there is a need for a lawsuit. In certain circumstances, a lawsuit becomes necessary. For example, maybe the at-fault insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith with us. If we cannot settle your case satisfactorily we will advise you on taking your case to trial.

Our firm is experienced in both negotiating of your behalf and trying cases. We will always act in and advise you about your best interests.

How much money can I expect for the property damage to my car?
You should be offered either the amount that it will take to restore your car to its condition prior to the accident, or the fair market value of your car if the car is considered totaled. There are different methods used by insurance companies to determine these values. Whatever insurance company we are dealing with, be assured that your settlement will be fair and reasonable.

How long will it take to settle my case?
All claims are handled individually on a case-by-case basis. No two cases are exactly alike. In general, we must wait until you are finished with treatment before we can proceed with settlement negotiations. In part, the amount of money you will receive depends on the actual amount of your medical bills. If we attempt to settle your case before you finish with treatment (before you stop accumulating bills), we won’t know the full amount of your damages and risk under-settling your case.

We can proceed to settlement negotiations the day your doctor releases you from treatment. Some client receive settlement checks 60 to 90 days from the date they are finished with treatment.

How much money can I expect to receive from my case?
We cannot accurately estimate the value of your case until we know all of the surrounding facts and circumstances. Unknown factors can sometimes come up or problems arise that may change the financial value of your case. No matter what the circumstances may be, our skilled attorneys at Mueller, Hinds, and Associates, PC will consult with your treating doctors and other pertinent experts to give you an estimate that we feel is legally fair and reasonable. We will then work hard to get you the maximum amount of money possible the quickest way possible.
We offer free consultations. If you would like to sit down with us we may be able to give you a range value on your case.

Can I recover for injuries or death of a loved one?
If you have lost a parent, spouse, or child to a car accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent parties. In addition to the above, if you were financially dependant on someone, you can bring a claim of wrongful death if that person was killed in a car accident even if you are not actually related to the deceased.

Here too, you need to establish that the death was caused due to the negligent actions of the defendant and happened because of the car accident. In a wrongful death claim, you are entitled to receive damages for the following:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of sexual relationships
  • Actual financial losses, if the person killed was the provider of the household or you were dependant on them financially.
  • Mental pain and suffering


    I just received an offer from the insurance company. How was the offer calculated?
    Quite simply, the insurance company is offering you the lowest amount of money they think you will accept. The amount you are offered usually has no bearing Insurance companies are in the business of making money for their shareholders. Despite what they may tell you, they do not have your best interest in mind. The offer is probably the lowest offer they think you will accept. The latest trick is for an insurance company to offer you a strange figure (example $2,749.48). They are hoping that you will think they made some type of calculation through a formula to arrive at this figure. There is no specific formula for determining the value of a personal injury case. An offer of a strange figure is most likely a psychological trick to make you think there is a specific formula and that is all you are entitled to.


    I was involved in a hit and run accident in Nevada. What are my rights?
    If your insurance policy has uninsured motorist coverage, you can generally collect for the same damages that you could if the person that hit you was caught and had insurance. Usually, this means that generally you can collect for your medical bills, lost time from work, and any pain and suffering you incurred and will incur as a result of the accident.


    Why do attorneys want to be contacted immediately following an accident?
    The insurance company investigates the accident from the moment it was reported. Unlike an attorney, they do not work for you and are not attempting to help you. Rather, they are looking for anything that will lower their exposure. Remember, an insurance company is a corporation whose function is to make a profit for its shareholders. By contacting an attorney immediately, you will have someone working for YOU and gathering evidence on your behalf.


    How many car accidents are there in the US and how many people are killed or seriously injured as a result of these?
    On average, there are more than 6 million car accidents on the roads of the US, annually. More than 3 million people are injured in car accidents, with more than 2 million of these injuries being permanent.


    What are some of the reasons for car accidents and fatalities?
    In more than half of all car accident fatalities, the deceased were found not to be wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Even with seat belts being mandatory, a vast majority of people choose to disregard this safety precaution and end up losing their lives because of it. Many car accidents are caused by people talking to other passengers while driving, and others due to drivers playing with the radio while driving. A large percentage is because of eating or drinking while driving, and 25% of car accidents are caused due to talking on cell phones while at the wheel of the car. These car accident statistics are sad enough on their own, the saddest part being that they could have easily been avoided had drivers been paying more attention to driving and less to other activities.


    What are the legal aspects regarding compensation for car accident injuries/fatalities?
    If you have been injured in a car accident, or have lost someone because of a car accident, you can file a case of wrongful death claim, depending on the circumstance.

    Those who are involved in car accidents usually suffer serious injuries or death. Various types of car accident injuries include brain injury, injury to the spine, neck injuries, fractures and broken bones, head injuries, etc.

    Such serious injuries can often leave the victims in severe pain and discomfort, not to mention making them disabled for life. Car accident injuries can also result in the loss of eyesight or hearing. Even if your car accident injuries are treated properly, you may still end up with some permanent disability or disfigurement.


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