Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) protects you from damages in a car accident that was caused by a driver with inadequate liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance will also cover the costs and damages associated with a hit-and-run accident. Understanding UIM Coverage is especially important if you are considering the pursuit of a personal injury case. Let’s explore the different aspects of uninsured motorist insurance, and why you should consider getting it if you don’t already have it.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Although general liability insurance is required by law in most states, many drivers do not hold additional insurance coverage beyond that. Many drivers carry only the minimum liability coverage required by law, meaning their insurance won’t pay for any damages that result from a car accident. For this reason, almost all car insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
UIM coverage covers you if you’re in a not-at-fault accident with a driver who does not have insurance (this includes hit-and-run scenarios.) Underinsured motorist coverage is applicable when the driver who is at fault does have insurance coverage, but the total cost of the damages are greater than the limit defined by their insurance policy.
How Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works
Have you been in a car accident where you were not at fault? In most circumstances, you would need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company, get your vehicle damages fixed, and attempt to collect any compensation for lost wages and/or medical expenses. You would have no out-of-pocket expenses.
However, you may find yourself in a scenario where the driver who hit you either does not have car insurance at all, or they don’t have sufficient coverage to pay for damages. This happens more frequently than you might think. According to the Insurance Research Council, it is estimated that about 1 out of every 8 drivers were uninsured in 2012. It is also important to understand that minimum liability requirements don’t always offer enough coverage after a car accident.
If you don’t have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and you find yourself in a scenario like this, you’ll be forced to pay out-of-pocket for damages and medical expenses not covered by the other driver.
What does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay For?
The most important thing to understand about UM/UIM Coverage, is that it does not pay for any damages to your car. It is always recommended to purchase additional collision coverage with your insurance provider to cover damages to your car caused by an uninsured motorist. Here are a list of things that Uninsured Motorist Coverage does pay for:
- medical bills
- loss of the future enjoyment of life
- lost wages and disability
- long term nursing care
- wheelchairs and medical devices
- pain & suffering
- replacement services for things you are no longer able to do: yard service, cleaning, etc.
- cost to retro-fit your house to accommodate disabilities caused by the auto accident
What to do if you don’t have Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you have been in an auto accident where the driver at fault is either uninsured or underinsured, please contact Reich & Mancini today. We can help you navigate all of the paths you may need to go down during this process. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience, and we would be happy to book a consultation for you.