What happens if someone hits your vehicle and runs and you don't know who did it? How pays for that damage if you cannot find them? These types of accidents are not uncommon in the South since we are so close to the border. Those who cross the border may get checked for security reasons but not insurance reasons. So we have alot uninsured motorists or underinsured motorists since our state minimum limits for insurance are only $30,000 per person up to $60,000 per accident. As you can see that is not much for someone to pay you if they caused a lot of damage or caused you to sustain major injuries.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (referred to as UM or UIM, respectively), is a unique form of auto insurance in that it gives drivers an added opportunity to protect themselves from all those people driving with little or no auto liability insurance.
In addition to its unique nature, UM is an often misunderstood form of auto insurance. A common question folks ask is why someone should pay for UM if they are covered under some other form of medical
or disability insurance
? The answer involves understanding what UM will pay for that other policies will not.
UM policies agree to pay for compensatory damages. This term is not specifically defined in a UM policy because its intention is to cover a broad arrangement of expenses you personally incur at the fault of an underinsured driver. While it’s true that some expenses like medical costs may also be covered by your health insurance, others may not be. These expenses include disability income, injuries to passengers, and non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Further, escalating health costs are leaving more folks without health insurance. Many of these folks drive cars and are one auto accident with an underinsured driver away from financial ruin. For someone with no other medical insurance, UM is an essential, affordable coverage.
So how much UM insurance should you purchase? Since costs like those mentioned above that are covered by your UM can be expensive, it is always recommended that you carry the highest limits available. Lower limits could lead to insufficient dollars available to pay a claim, or worse. Some states' laws actually prevent recovery under your UM policy if the limits are equal to the state’s minimum auto liability requirement unless the driver who hits you has no insurance at all. While there are certainly those out there, most drivers have at least enough to satisfy their state requirement. Because state laws concerning UM coverage vary, it is important to call your agent when considering changes to your auto insurance.
In a perfect world there would be no need for UM coverage; however there are still quite a few people out there who still haven’t discovered the importance of buying adequate auto insurance. You never know who’s going to cause your next accident. UM can help you rest assured that even if they aren’t covered, you will be. Please contact Suzanne Brown at 713-899-4651 or Suzanne@SuzanneBrownagency.com to discuss if you have questions about this UM or UIM coverage.