During a recent conversation with a client, I was asked about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: Why is it included in my auto and umbrella policies? Why is this coverage necessary? Am I paying for others who don't get their own policy?
Although you may be a careful driver who follows the rules of the road and has the right insurance coverage in place, unfortunately you may encounter other drivers without proper protection. In this article, I'll explain how uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can protect you and your family, along with the importance of including it in your auto and umbrella policies.
If another driver causes an accident and doesn't have enough insurance coverage to compensate you, you could face costly, unexpected expenses.
If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you while you are driving - or even walking - you could face extremely costly vehicle damage, medical bills or lengthy court battles. Underinsured and uninsured coverage can offer you protection in situations like these. Each coverage is designed to financially protect you from an at-fault driver who doesn't have enough - or any - liability coverage.
Uninsured drivers simply are not covered by an auto insurance policy. According to the Insurance Research Council, about 1 in 8 drivers in the United States are completely uninsured. As a result, if an uninsured driver causes an accident, they will not have a policy in place to reimburse you for vehicle repairs or medical costs for you and your passengers.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to fill the gap between your costs and the other driver’s ability to pay.
What about hit-and-run accidents?
Accidents in which a driver flees from the scene fall into the same category as uninsured motorists, as there is no insurance policy in place to cover the driver’s liability. This coverage also applies if you or a member of your family are hit as a pedestrian – even if your vehicle wasn’t involved. Especially during the winter months when the sun sets early, it’s common for pedestrians to walk or run on the roads after dark. Decreased visibility can increase the risk of pedestrian accidents.