Do you know what uninsured motorist insurance is? If not, you’re not alone. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that 26% of drivers are uninsured. That number has increased since the study was released in 2010. Even if you’re a safe driver, which doesn’t mean everyone else on the road is. That’s why it’s important to have uninsured motorist insurance as part of your auto insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know about this type of coverage.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
You may have heard of uninsured motorist insurance, but what exactly is it? Simply put, uninsured motorist insurance (UMI) is coverage that protects you if you are injured by a driver who does not have insurance. No one wants to be in an accident, but if you are, it’s important to know that you and your family are protected. Here’s what you need to know about UMI.
What Does UMI Cover?
UMI covers both bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury coverage will help pay for medical bills, Lost Wages, and Pain and Suffering if you or a passenger in your vehicle is injured by an uninsured driver. Property damage coverage will help repair or replace your car if it is damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. In some states, UMI also covers hit-and-run accidents.
How Much Does UMI Cost?
The cost of UMI varies depending on several factors, including the state in which you live, your age, the make and model of your car, and your driving history. However, most professionals agree that the peace of mind afforded by UMI is well worth the cost of the premiums.
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Why Do You Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
You’re driving along, minding your own business, when suddenly another driver swerves into your lane and hits you. They exchange insurance information and go on their way, leaving you with a damaged car and a few bruises. But then you find out that the other driver wasn’t insured! Now what?
That’s where uninsured motorist insurance comes in. Uninsured motorist insurance is a type of coverage that helps pay for damages caused by an uninsured driver. It can also help pay for damages caused by a hit-and-run driver. In most states, uninsured motorist coverage is optional, but it’s something to consider if you live in an area with a high percentage of uninsured drivers.
There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage: bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. Bodily injury coverage helps pay for medical expenses and lost wages if you’re injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Property damage coverage helps pay to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
How Much Uninsured Motorist Insurance Should You Have?
The amount of uninsured motorist insurance you should have depends on a few factors, such as the value of your vehicle and how much money you want to protect yourself with. A good rule of thumb is to get enough coverage to match your liability limit. That way, if an uninsured driver causes an accident and your damages exceed their liability limit, your uninsured motorist insurance will cover the rest.
The Minimum Amount of Coverage You Need
Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, which pays for property damage and injuries that you cause to other people in an accident. But even if your state doesn’t require it, it’s a good idea to carry at least $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability coverage. That way, if you cause an accident that injures several people or causes a lot of property damage, your insurer will cover the costs up to those limits.
But what if you’re the one who’s injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist? That’s where UM coverage comes in. UM coverage pays for your medical expenses and property damage if you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Most states require drivers to carry UM coverage, but the minimum limits vary from state to state.
How Much Coverage Should You Have?
Ideally, you should carry enough UM coverage to match your liability limits. So, if you have $100,000/$300,000 in liability coverage, you should also have $100,000/$300,000 in UM coverage. That way, if you’re ever in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, your insurer will cover up to $100,000 of your medical expenses and property damage—just like if you’d been insured by the other driver’s insurer.
Some people choose to carry even more than the minimum amount of insurance required by their state. Others purchase umbrella policies that provide additional protection beyond their regular auto insurance policy limits. Umbrella policies typically start at $1 million in coverage and can go up from there.
No one expects to be involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. But unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to have uninsured motorist insurance as part of your auto insurance coverage.
This type of insurance can help pay for things like medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle caused by an underinsured or hit-and-run driver. When getting auto insurance, be sure to ask about uninsured motorist insurance and make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself financially in case of an accident.
If you want to discuss options for auto insurance, please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
Robert Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates are vested members of the community who are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your insurance advocate in times of need.