What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

  • By:David Bate
There are many irresponsible drivers who do not have auto liability insurance to provide the victim of an auto accident with compensation for damages like lost wages, medical bills, and others, in case they injure someone in an accident. If an uninsured driver hits you and causes an injury, the only recourse you may have for compensation and recovery will be your uninsured motorist coverage (UM), as a personal injury lawyer Delray Beach FL relies on can attest.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
In most states, UM is a statutorily mandated insurance coverage that protects people from drivers who are uninsured. This insurance coverage helps you cover for damages that are caused either by an uninsured person or vehicle, or an unknown driver, like in case of hit and run accidents.
Generally, when you are injured due to the negligence of another driver, you can make a claim on their liability insurance policy to receive compensation. However, since uninsured drivers have no liability insurance or their insurance policy has already expired, you have to rely on your own auto insurance to pay for the bodily and property damage up to your policy’s limit. But if you have UM coverage, you can make a claim on it to get compensation equal to the amount of your liability coverage.

Who is Protected by UM Coverage?
The UM coverage protects drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians, if they are injured by an uninsured driver. It also provides protection to your covered household members. In addition, if you or any of your covered household members are injured while driving another person’s vehicle, your UM coverage will act as a secondary policy, while that vehicle’s own policy will be in the primary position.

What is covered in UM Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage offers two types of protection:
  • Bodily Injury: It provides compensation for costs pertaining to your injuries that are caused by the negligence of an uninsured driver. The coverage may include medical bills, lost income and wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and others. It may extend to the passengers or a household member driving the vehicle. This type of UM coverage generally has a split limit where the amount of coverage varies based on whether a single person or several people were injured. It also depends on the number of accidents. For example, $15,000 per person for bodily injury or death, or $30,000 per accident for bodily injury or death.
  • Property Damage: It provides coverage for repair costs related to the damages that were caused due to the accident by an uninsured motorist.
Some states allow owners of multiple vehicles to stack their UM coverage. This means that with several vehicles, you can add up your UM coverage to get a higher amount of protection in case of an accident.
It is important that you work with your insurance agent to understand how UM coverage works in the state you live in. This will help you in choosing the right coverage limits that befit your needs.
Logo-EHLThanks to our friends and contributors from Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into uninsured motorist coverage.
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