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What is Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Car that has been in an accident

We’ve all heard stories surrounding an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. A family is burdened with horrific medical bills because of an accident with a drunk driver who couldn’t afford insurance due to his bad driving record. A child walking to school faces a lifetime of difficulty after being struck by a texting college driver with state minimum auto limits. A pair of retired sweethearts fall victim to a hit and run driver.

Would you be financially prepared financially if this happened to you? This is where Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage comes into play.

Why Do I Need Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) can help pay for damages and medical costs resulting from an accident caused by someone who has no insurance. Similarly, Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) helps pay for damages and medical costs resulting from an accident caused by someone with inadequate insurance coverage.

It is important to know that your own liability insurance is meant to protects others. Consequently, it won’t apply to protect you if you experienced injury and loss in a not-at-fault accident.

Excess Uninsured Motorist/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage from a personal umbrella policy pays after the auto policy’s UM/UIM limits have been exhausted. UM/UIM coverage comes into play when the person who caused an accident doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your injuries. Similarly, this coverage applies if you were the victim of a hit and run in a vehicle, on a bike or while walking. These scenarios would leave you without another person’s insurance policy to collect against – making it an “uninsured” motorist claim.

The Prevalence of Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

According to recent estimates by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), roughly 1 in 8 drivers is uninsured. In addition, many drivers are solely focused on trying to get the cheapest insurance rate. Consequently, these drivers only carry state minimum auto limits, which may not be sufficient in an accident.

What is Covered?

Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage is important to financially protect you and your passengers. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, UM/UIM covers:

  • Bodily injury
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • May provide life and disability insurance that exceeds the amount of coverage provided in your primary auto policy.

At Walsh Duffield, we want to help keep you and your family safe & well. Contact us to discuss your coverage options and to understand your current insurance limits.