Why Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Updated: Jul 5, 2022
Car accidents come with many unknowns. The amount of damage, the level of injury, and the question of coverage can all range greatly, and you never know what your next car accident might look like.
In some cases, people drive with no insurance or may be driven to flee the scene of the accident. For victims in these situations, the aftermath can be financially devastating.
Luckily, you have control to protect yourself through your own insurance policy with a coverage called Uninsured Motorist, or UM. With UM, you can always ensure you have the protection you need no matter what happens on the road.
So what is UM?
Uninsured Motorist is a coverage that has limits similar to liability. UM includes a limit for injuries and damages, typically matching your liability coverage. Unlike liability, this UM coverage is for you and your passengers instead of for the other people involved in the accident.
What does UM cover?
If you get hit by someone in an accident, you always want to start with the at-fault party’s insurance. However, there is a rising number of people that either carry too little insurance or don’t carry any insurance coverage at all. When the at-fault party doesn’t have any protection, you can file with your own insurance policy to use Uninsured Motorist for your injuries and damages.
What happens in a hit-and-run?
Uninsured Motorist is a critical coverage to have for this scenario. If you don’t have UM and are hit by someone that flees the scene, you unfortunately don’t have many options for financial reimbursement. UM ensures you are never left to come up with these funds out of your own pocket and pays for any injuries or damages caused by the hit-and-run driver.
How do UM claims work?
When you file an Uninsured Motorist claim, you provide the details of the accident to your own insurance company. These claims are subject to a deductible, but it is often a reduced amount instead of your chosen policy deductible. Your insurance company then pays for medical bills and repair expenses from the accident.
Can I use UM if the other person has insurance?
If the at-fault party has insurance coverage, you can still file with your own policy’s UM coverage. This is intended for times when the at-fault party doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for your injuries or damages. In these cases, you would file a claim first with the at-fault party’s insurance and then file with your UM coverage in the event their coverage is completely exhausted. This ensures the damages you have suffered are covered as much as possible to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
Overall, having Uninsured Motorist coverage provides many benefits and is well worth the additional cost of adding it to your policy. While it may feel unfair to have to file with your own insurance for an accident someone else caused, it is always most important to get the coverage you need in the event you are hurt in a car accident. To learn more about how these claims and this coverage can protect you, talk to Hohaia Law today.