It is estimated that 1 out of every 7 drivers on the road in the United States are uninsured. In some states, they are requiring car insurance carriers to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in their plans.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage is used when the driver who is at-fault for your accident, doesn’t have enough (or any) liability coverage. Having uninsured motorist coverage will save you and your passengers from having to pay for an accident you didn’t cause. Especially if you or someone in your vehicle have been injured. Oftentimes the minimum liability coverage that comes with your basic car insurance policy won’t always offer enough coverage after an accident with an uninsured motorist. When you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you may end up paying for damages and medical expenses out of pocket – those expenses that would normally be covered by the at-fault driver’s car insurance.

What is the Difference Between Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your passengers if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have insurance.

Underinsured motorist coverage steps in when you are in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover damages done to your vehicle and any medical expenses you and your passengers may have accrued.

The at-fault’s policy will pay for the damage up to the policy limit and then your underinsured motorist insurance will cover any excess amount, up to the limits you have set up.

Types of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage 

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage – this covers any medical expenses, lost wages, and any injury related expenses for you, any permissive drivers, as well as your passengers when you have been injured in an accident. This also provides coverage for any injuries sustained by a hit-and-run accident. This helps to cover you and any passengers with medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. It is extremely beneficial to have when you are in an accident with a motorist who does not have insurance or their liability coverage is not sufficient enough to cover all of the damage sustained.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage – this will cover any car damage and property damage sustained due to the accident. However, it will not cover damage that was done by a hit-and-run driver.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Limits

Believe it or not, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage has a limit that you can set yourself. In most states, the insurance companies already will set the minimum limits for you – especially in states that require you to have uninsured motorist coverage. Coverage limits usually look like the following:

Bodily Injury 

The payments will come in a split-limit; your insurance will differ based on whether or not there was only one person injured verses if there were multiple people injured in an accident:

Ex:

Split Limit – 

  • $15,000 for bodily injury or death, per person. or,
  • $30,000 for total bodily injury or death, per accident

Combined Single Limit

You may have the option to purchase a combined single limit policy. This generally means that there is only one amount your insurance company will pay out for all bodily injuries in an accident

Ex:

Getting $30,000 total for all injuries – this includes yours as well any passengers who have been injured due to an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

How Much Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cost?

Costa vary from state to state and depending on the policy you choose, if you have tickets on your record, any prior claims, and/or policy discounts. But as a rule of thumb, uninsured or underinsured motorist covered usually costs approximately 5% of your annual car insurance rate. For example, if your premium is $1,000 annually, you will pay an additional $50.00 a year to have uninsured motorist coverage.

Which is something that we believe is worth the extra money. It will put you and your family at ease every time you are on the road. You will not have to worry if your medical bills or car repairs will be paid for if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

We always advise our clients to do what is best for them, and having the extra protection helps in the long run.

If you have been injured in an accident and need representation by an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact Silverthorne Attorneys today. Consultations are free.