What is the Purpose of Obtaining Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Although every driver is required to be covered by auto liability insurance — insurance that covers for another driver’s expenses if you cause an automobile accident — some drivers either have no coverage, coverage that has lapsed, or coverage that will not sufficiently cover damages in the event that they cause an accident. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in eight drivers were uninsured in the United States in 2012.
If an uninsured or underinsured driver crashes into your vehicle and you are injured, you may be stuck with thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses.
In these cases, it is vital to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, sometimes referred to as UM/UIM coverage. In some states, it is required to have UM/UIM auto coverage. In other states, like Texas, by law you are afforded the opportunity to purchase UM/UIM coverage with your auto insurance policy. It is crucial to purchase this optional coverage to protect you, your passengers, and your finances.
What is Covered by Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Purchasing UM/UIM coverage can protect you from having to pay out of pocket for a variety of expenses, including:
- Medical expenses for you and your passengers
- Funeral expenses
- Damage to your vehicle
- Rental car
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages from missing work
- Permanent disability
In addition, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run auto accident or if you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, UM/UIM coverage can help you get the compensation you need for the damages that you incurred.
Have you been involved in a hit-and-run crash? Learn more about your legal options in our blog post: What can I recover for a Texas hit-and-run injury?
How does Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?
In the event of an accident caused by another driver, you may discover that the adverse driver’s liability coverage limits are not sufficient enough to cover your damages. If, for example, your damages total $50,000 but the adverse driver’s liability coverage only covers $25,000, if you have an underinsured motorist coverage policy (with a limit such as $50,000), your insurance company will pick up the remaining difference of $25,000.
Without UM/UIM coverage in this scenario, you will likely have to sue the adverse driver to recover the difference. In many cases, uninsured or underinsured drivers will not have the assets to pay for the remaining damages, which means that you will have to foot the bill for the remaining costs.
If you’re unsure if you have UM/UIM coverage, contact your auto insurance provider. Purchasing this coverage can save your and your family from unexpected and expensive costs in the event of an accident.
Injured in an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
If you have been the victim of an accident involving a driver without a sufficient amount of liability coverage to compensate you for your injuries, contact Thomas J. Henry. Call our law offices today for a free case review — available 24/7, nights and weekends.
There are often important procedures and processes involved in receiving compensation in uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage claims. Our experienced accident attorneys can help you get the full amount of compensation that you are owed and ensure that the insurance companies are looking after your best interests.