I know that I have gone over uninsured motorist coverage before. However, I think that it is important to go over the importance of it again. Working for an auto accident attorney, I learn something new about car accidents and the importance of insurance. Especially uninsured motorist coverage (I will refer to it as UM on occasion for this post). If you are suffering from injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact an auto accident lawyer at Silverthorne Attorneys to discuss your case. Consultations are free!
Auto Injury Lawyer | What is UM?
UIM is available as an add-on to your car insurance policy. Many people have a tendency to overlook the importance of UM coverage. Especially since no one expects to be in an accident with someone who does not carry insurance.
What is it?
UM is purchased as part of your car insurance coverage. It is a separate type of insurance that protects you, the occupants of your vehicle, and any family members living with you, from the injuries you sustain due to the negligence of another. Usually the negligent party (the at-fault party) is the one who is driving without or with insufficient car insurance coverage.
Why is it Valuable?
It is valuable for so many reasons. First being, if the at-fault party injures you or someone in your car and they do not have insurance, then your insurance company steps in. Your insurance company will step in and act as if it was the insurer of the negligent driver. When you purchase UM and you are in an accident with someone who is uninsured, your insurance company will then foot the bill.
There are over 2.6 million drivers on the road without insurance coverage. How does this happen when people are required to have insurance when they register a car? Well, some of these drivers are teens who are brand new drivers and do not have insurance yet. Some of these drivers are ones who do not own the car.
Also, with so many drivers out there with UM and underinsurance motorist coverage, it is critical to purchase these along with your policy.
How it Works
If you are in an accident that isn’t your fault, you usually file a claim with the at-fault’s insurance company. However, when the car that hits you is uninsured, this presents a problem. So, when this happens, it lands on you to pay the out-of-pocket expenses. Whether those be medical bills, repairs to your vehicle, etc. But don’t worry. When you file a UM claim, your insurance company should reimburse you for any out-of-pocket expenses that you accrue.
In most cases, your UM coverage will come in what is known as a split limit. This means that your insurance coverage will differ if there is one person versus if there are multiple people injured in the accident. For example:
- $15,000 for bodily injury or death, per person;
- $30,000 for total bodily injury or death, per accident.
This means that each person in the accident will get up to $15,000 or you will be paid $30,000 for total injuries per accident.
You may, however, be able to do something called a combined single limit policy. This is one amount that your insurance company will pay out for all bodily injuries in an accident: $30,000 for all injuries.
California Law & How Much UM is Worth
Under the law in California, it is required that you are offered the opportunity to include UM/UIM coverage in your policy. You should be able to get coverage in your policy for the minimum limits required of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence.
The statute does not require insurance companies to offer this above the limits of $30,000 per person and $60,000 per occurrence, many insurance companies do. This is usually at the discretion of your insurance agent and the company you are covered under. However, to qualify for the increased UM limits, you must have purchased the same liability limits.
Suffering from Injuries? Contact an Auto Accident Attorney!
I only went over the basics of the importance of UM coverage. But it is indeed important coverage. It means that you will not have to pay as much out of pocket and you will not be left to foot the bill for your accident. And you shouldn’t have to. Especially when someone else is the cause of the accident.
If you are suffering from injuries due to the negligence of another, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case. Consultations with an auto accident attorney in our office are free!