California Legal News Reports Index
Uninsured Motorist Coverage -
Don’t Be Penny Wise and Pound Foolish.
This article explains the wisdom of having
uninsured motorist coverage protection on your automobile insurance
good news is that such coverage is relatively inexpensive to purchase.
as much uninsured motorist (“UM") coverage on
your automobile policy as you can reasonably afford.
UM Protects: Uninsured
Motorist coverage protects you and your family for losses and
damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
You Should Have Substantial UM Coverage:
There are a number of reasons to buy UM
coverage or increase your UM coverage.
Inexpensive: Generally speaking, UM coverage is
extremely or relatively inexpensive.
Protection in Serious Collision: UM coverage provides
good protection if you are significantly injured in a vehicular
collision. For example, if you become unable to work and are unable
money for a long period of time due to another uninsured
driving, UM coverage would pay such provable losses as well as for
Protection as a Pedestrian: You may even utilize
UM coverage benefits if you or a family member, as a pedestrian, are
an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Hit-and-Run Protection: UM coverage applies to
hit-and-run collisions. If
you or your
vehicle is struck by a hit-and-run driver, report the loss immediately
enforcement. Additionally, report the loss immediately to your
company. By so doing, you will be sure qualify to utilize the UM
coverage. Review your policy regarding conditions for using UM coverage
in a hit-and-run accident.
Underinsured Motorist Protection (UIM): If the
negligent driver is insured, but does not have enough insurance to
losses, UM coverage (if the UM coverage amount is higher than the
driver’s liability coverage amount), will provide additional
coverage for your
losses. For example, if you have a $100,000 UM policy, and the
driver has a $25,000.00 liability policy, you have $75,000.00 of
coverage on the claim. Please note that, depending on your policy
what state you reside in, the coverage formula may be different than
with your insurance agent. Talk
to your agent about how much you can or
should raise your UM coverage if you already have it.
If you don’t yet have uninsured
talk to your agent about obtaining it.
policies may differ. Each
UM policy from each insurance provider
may be different. Such
affect, modify, or, in some cases, not cover one or more of the areas
been discussed above. Therefore,
determine what the policy covers and excludes by asking your insurance
and by reading the policy.
exist where uninsured motorist coverage might
not be necessary. Uninsured
coverage may overlap with other types of insurance coverage that you
have, for example, medical insurance, disability insurance, personal
protection (PIP) in “no fault" states, and others). Therefore, you need to assess
whether or not
UM is necessary or worth the additional expense. Again, I recommend
discuss these factors with your insurance agent.
Numerous Experiences: In
my experience as a California
lawyer, the benefit of UM protection far exceeds its cost. I have
personally represented many clients who, due to having limited UM
recovered far less money than they were entitled to. Further, I have
contacted by quite a number of persons who did not have UM coverage,
seriously injured by an uninsured driver and, as a result, suffered
With No UM Coverage: If
you injured due to the negligence of an
uninsured motorist, and you didn’t have UM coverage, contact
an attorney at law
anyway. An attorney may, in
be able to discover other sources of recovery. However, oftentimes, a
lawyer will not discover alternative insurance or other recovery
sources. In such a case, the failure to purchase UM coverage may result
in no recovery
or a severely diminished recovery for your losses. Therefore, the wise
choice in most cases is to purchase as much UM coverage as you can
husband, wife, and their two children are traveling in their car to the
for a relaxing day of fun and sun. Suddenly,
and without warning, their car is broadsided in an
intersection at high speed by a large sedan which ran a red light. The driver of the large sedan is
uninsured, and has few assets. Both
husband and wife receive serious injuries. Both
of them are unable to work for more than one year. The two
children received serious injuries as well.
this case, with adequate UM coverage, this family
would be entitled to have their losses paid under the UM policy.
adequate UM coverage, and depending on what other types of insurance
family have, this scenario could result in financial catastrophe.
Uninsured motorist provides protection for you
and your family against uninsured drivers, underinsured drivers, and
hit-and-run drivers. UM even
automobile versus pedestrian collisions. With
adequate coverage amounts, it will provide needed financial
protection when injuries are serious, disabling and prolonged.
motorist coverage is inexpensive to purchase.
Depending on the laws of your state, the
policy of the insurance
carrier, and the other types of coverage you have, UM coverage may
with protection that you might not otherwise have.
California Legal News Reports Index