Pokémon Go & Your Auto Insurance

What does Pokémon have to do with your auto insurance? I’m sure you’ve heard of the new Pokémon Go app for your smartphone. It uses your phone’s location to show you little creatures that appear on screen as you move around in the real world. You get points for “catching” them by swiping your finger, which helps you advance within the game. It’s become incredibly popular since being released on July 6th and is making headlines around the world.

There have been reports of people falling from cliffs, discovering corpses in the woods, getting stabbed while playing and trespassing at a zoo. People are obviously very distracted and mesmerized by this app.

Businesses are even catching onto the phenomenon and attempting to attract customers into their stores by using a technique within the game called “luring.” By luring Pokémon creatures, it creates hotspots that generate extra traffic from people looking to level up in the game.

It’s a huge deal.

Let’s take a step back for a second and put our caution hat on.

If texting and driving is an issue on the road, imagine what waving your phone around while trying to catch invisible creatures in a virtual world could do to people’s driving habits.

The average age of Pokémon Go players is mid to late 20s. If by some chance you are hit by a driver in this age group, do you know how much of your medical expenses would be covered by their insurance policy if you’re injured? How about your own policy, do you know how much coverage you have for these situations? Would there even be any coverage at all?

There are two places to start looking. First would be the Pokémon player’s auto insurance policy. Second would be your own auto insurance policy under the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage, better known as “UM” coverage.

If for some reason the Pokémon player doesn’t have high enough liability limits to cover all of your medical expenses (consider the average game player’s age mentioned above and then imagine how much potential coverage someone in this age segment might purchase), then you would look to your own policy’s UM coverage, if you have it.

Uninsured Motorist coverage protects YOU when someone else is at fault and causes bodily injury to YOU. It fills the void where the at-fault driver’s policy may not be enough to pay for your medical expenses.

Whenever possible, it’s wise to carry at least the same UM limits as you have for Bodily Injury coverage on the policy. Match the limits and also consider “stacking” coverage so that you can essentially borrow and dip into the UM limit for each car on the policy.

Coverages can vary from state to state, so talk with your agent to find out how you can be protected. To contact the RMC Group offices, call 239.298.8210.