Whether you’re an experienced driver or a “first-timer” your state Department of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has strict requirements of what you need to have drive legally. Three items rise to the top of the “you better have it,” list are comprehensive, collision and liability insurance. But a fourth type of insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, is often not required, but just as important.
It’s been said by some auto accident lawyers that they are amazed at how many drivers ignore carrying uninsured driver protection; or not carry enough coverage. It certainly can’t be the policy cost since this type of coverage pales in comparison to what you’re being charged for comp and collision.
So with your permission, allow this article to “tug-on-your-coat” to get your attention and understand why uninsured motorist coverage is not only important; it’s critical. First you need to know the difference between the two words: “uninsured and underinsured.”
Uninsured: This type of motor vehicle coverage is what you purchase as part of your initial policy. This covers the occupants of your vehicle should a negligent driver who caused the car accident failed to have any coverage.
In the event of a car accident that was not of your doing, carrying uninsured coverage will NOT increase your premiums. In most all cases, a claim is only viable if the uninsured party is found to be “at fault.” This is basically an admission that the insured was NOT AT Fault, and therefore not at risk for having their premiums raised.
Underinsured: This type of motorist coverage will “kick in” after the responsible party to the car accident insurance carrier has reached its policy limits, or is otherwise inadequate to compensate you for injuries and damages. However, keep in mind that the uninsured motorist limits must exceed what shows on their policy in order for this type of coverage to be applicable.
Are you clear as to who and what your uninsured motorist coverage protects? For starters, your policy not only protects you, but family members even if they’re not in the vehicle involved in the accident.
What’s being implied here folks, is your coverage applies while you’re a passenger in another vehicle and there is not enough insurance coverage remaining to cover your injuries. This coverage also insures you or family members, if hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, riding a bicycle, or sitting at an outdoor table on a busy street.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is your protective “parachute.” Like the old sage advice – “it’s better to have it and not need it; than to need it and not have it”
If you’ve been in an accident and the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured, and you’re having trouble obtaining full compensation from your insurance company, discuss your case with an experienced auto accident lawyer today.