Uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) auto insurance coverage is not required in all states, and it’s a good idea to add this protection to a policy anyway. It provides insurance protection if an accident occurs and the at-fault driver either doesn’t have any auto insurance coverage or doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for the damages he or she caused.
Even though most parts of the United States have passed laws requiring drivers to carry at least a minimum level of auto insurance coverage, not everyone on the road complies with the law. When people are looking to make ends meet, they may let their auto insurance coverage lapse and continue driving anyway. In some states, the Insurance Research Council estimates that up to one-quarter of people on the road do not have insurance coverage in place.
UM and UIM Basics
Uninsured and underinsured motorist auto insurance coverage protects the policyholder and passengers traveling in his or her vehicle. It pays for injuries and in some states will also cover repairs to the policyholder’s vehicle.
Uninsured motorist coverage is used when the driver who is legally at fault for the accident doesn’t have insurance coverage in place or when his or her auto insurance company denies the claim. If the at-fault driver’s insurance provider is unable to pay the claim, uninsured motorist coverage be used to cover it.
Uninsured motorist coverage also comes into play when a hit and run accident has occurred. If the driver cannot be identified, claims for bodily injuries are made under this part of the policy.
Underinsured motorist coverage pays out when the at-fault driver has coverage in place but he or she doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover the damages he or she caused. The at-fault driver’s policy is used first and once his or her policy limit has been reached, the underinsured motorist policy is used to pay the balance of the damages. This coverage can be used up to the policy limit the customer has decided to buy.
How to Get Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
In states where UM and UIM is required by law, insurance companies must provide quotes for policies providing at least this level of protection. A consumer can choose to buy a policy which has a higher policy limit if he or she wishes to do so. It’s a good idea to keep the policy limits for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage the same as the bodily injury and property damage portion of the policy.
If uninsured and underinsured motorist protection is not required by law, a driver can have it added to his or her policy. Getting quotes from different providers before making a decision to buy coverage is a good strategy, since this protection will add to the cost of coverage.
Going online to get quotes from different auto insurance companies for the cost of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is an effective strategy. Consumers can shop for coverage at a time which is convenient for them.