Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Why It's Essential
As responsible drivers, we all strive to have adequate insurance coverage to protect ourselves in the event of an accident. However, not everyone on the road shares the same level of responsibility. This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage becomes crucial. In this blog post, we will explore why uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is essential for your protection and peace of mind in case you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
The Risks of Uninsured Drivers
It is alarming to learn that a significant number of drivers operate their vehicles without insurance coverage. In the unfortunate event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you may find yourself in a difficult situation. Without uninsured motorist coverage, you could be left shouldering the financial burden for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses. Some might argue that even without insurance coverage, you can still sue the at-fault driver personally. While this is true, assuming that you can identify the person who hit you, there is no guarantee the person actually has the financial means to compensate you for your losses, even if you have a judgment saying that you’re entitled to them doing so. By obtaining uninsured motorist coverage, you are proactively safeguarding yourself against these risks.
The Limitations of Underinsured Drivers
Even if the at-fault driver in an accident carries insurance, sometimes in the event of a more severe accident, their coverage may be insufficient to fully compensate you for your losses. In such cases, underinsured motorist coverage plays a crucial role. If the other driver's insurance is inadequate to cover your expenses, your underinsured motorist coverage can bridge the gap, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve. This coverage acts as a safety net, protecting you from the financial hardships that may arise due to insufficient insurance limits of other drivers. It is important to note, however, that underinsured motorist coverage is only applicable when your coverage exceeds the at-fault drivers. For example, if you each had $25,000.00 in bodily injury coverage – them through their liability policy and you through your underinsured motorist policy – then your underinsured motorist policy would not be applicable because your coverage does not exceed theirs. If, on the other hand, their liability coverage was $25,000.00 and your underinsured motorist coverage was $75,000.00, then $50,000.00 of your underinsured motorist coverage would be available to help compensate you for your losses; put differently, compared to you, the at-fault driver was underinsured by $50,000.00 – the difference between the amount you carry and the amount they carry – and therefore that amount would be available for you to collect under your own policy in addition to the amount collected under the at-fault drivers policy, assuming your injuries support such a recovery.
Peace of Mind and Comprehensive Protection
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage provides you with peace of mind and a sense of security on the road. Knowing that you have additional protection beyond the liability coverage can make a significant difference in the event of an accident. With this coverage, you can focus on your recovery and well-being, rather than worrying about how you will cover the costs associated with the accident.
Cost-Effective and Tailored Coverage
Contrary to what some may believe, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is relatively affordable, especially considering the potential financial burden it protects you from. Furthermore, this coverage can be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. By working closely with your insurance agent, you can determine the appropriate coverage limits that will suit your requirements.
Protecting yourself against uninsured and underinsured motorists is an essential aspect of responsible vehicle ownership. The risks posed by uninsured drivers and the limitations of underinsured drivers make it crucial to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. By securing this coverage, you ensure comprehensive protection, peace of mind, and financial stability in the face of unforeseen accidents.
Have you been in an accident? Contact Walton + Brown LLP today to learn more about how we can support you and your legal rights.