Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you were doing everything you could do to be responsible, but no matter how much you do your part, at the end, you’re still responsible for something that was out of your control?
That’s what happens when you’re in a car accident and the driver-at-fault doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance. And while you think you can sue the other driver for not having insurance to pay for your damages, the truth is, it takes too much time, effort and cost to repair accidents that only involve car damage. In other cases, a lawsuit is absolutely necessary and justified, but for less serious accidents, the whole ordeal becomes such a big inconvenience and nuisance.
For example, let’s say you drive a suped-up $85,000 Ford F350. Unfortunately, one day while out and about running errands, another driver runs a red light and hits your truck right behind the passenger side door. Everyone is thankfully okay, but the damage to your truck will cost about $40,000 to repair. The driver at-fault only has the state minimum insurance policy coverage, which covers up to $20,000 in repairs. Where will the additional $20,000 come from to repair your truck?
Without underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), the $20,000 will come out of your pocket. However, with an underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage policy, insurance will pay the difference.
What exactly is uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM) provides coverage if you are in an accident and the driver that causes the accident either doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover the damages.
There are two different types of UIM policies: UIM bodily injury and UIM property damage.
- UIM bodily injury insurance is similar to the bodily injury coverage that is provided in liability insurance. It will provide additional coverage if the person who caused the accident doesn’t have enough insurance or doesn’t have insurance at all. UIM bodily insurance will pay for medical bills and other injury related expenses. It will also provide coverage in the case that the at-fault driver can’t be identified, i.e. a hit-and-run.
- UIM property damage provides coverage for vehicle repairs in case the person who hit you doesn’t have enough insurance or any insurance at all. Unlike UIM bodily injury, UIM property damage won’t provide coverage if the at-fault driver can’t be identified, so a hit-and-run is not covered.
Is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage right for me?
Even if you are the best driver in the world and have great insurance coverage, there is always a chance an accident can happen with an uninsured or underinsured driver. While it may not happen often, it only takes one accident to suffer the consequences of not having uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. Without it, you run the risk of having to pay for damages out of your own pocket.