Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage and What You Need To Know
Car accidents can be a life-altering event, both physically and financially. If you're involved in a car accident, you might be left with medical bills, lost wages, and car repair costs. While car insurance can help protect you from the financial burden of an accident, not all drivers carry enough insurance or any insurance at all. That's where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage come in.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is a type of car insurance that covers you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance. In some states, UM is required by law, while in others, it's an optional add-on to your policy. If you're hit by an uninsured driver, UM coverage can help pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. It can also help cover your expenses if you're hit by a hit-and-run driver.
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is similar to UM, but it applies when the other driver has insurance, but their policy limits are not enough to cover your damages. For example, if the other driver's insurance policy only covers $50,000 in damages, but your medical bills and car repair costs exceed that amount, UIM coverage can help cover the remaining costs.
One of the benefits of UM and UIM coverage is that they often include coverage for other people in your car, such as your passengers. This can be especially helpful if your passengers are injured and don't have their own health insurance.
It's important to note that UM and UIM coverage only apply to bodily injury, not property damage. If the other driver doesn't have insurance or has insufficient insurance, you may still be responsible for paying for damage to your car or other property. To protect yourself against property damage, you'll need collision or comprehensive coverage.
UM and UIM coverage can also vary depending on the state you live in. Some states have "stacking" policies, which allow you to stack the coverage limits of multiple policies if you have more than one car insured. For example, if you have two cars insured with UM coverage with a limit of $50,000 each, you could stack the coverage to have a total limit of $100,000 if you're hit by an uninsured driver.
It's important to understand the coverage limits and exclusions of your UM and UIM coverage. The coverage limits refer to the maximum amount of coverage your policy provides. If your damages exceed the coverage limits, you'll be responsible for paying the remaining costs. Exclusions refer to situations where your UM and UIM coverage doesn't apply, such as if you're driving a car that's not on your policy or if you're at fault for the accident.
In conclusion, UM and UIM coverage can be an important addition to your car insurance policy. They can help protect you and your passengers if you're involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. However, it's important to understand the coverage limits and exclusions of your policy to make sure you're fully protected in the event of an accident. Be sure to speak with your insurance provider to discuss your coverage options and determine what type of coverage is right for you. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.