Take a look at the drivers on the road around you, and at least one out of every eight of them are uninsured. In some places the rate gets as high as one out of every four. Those facts in and of themselves should make you want to have uninsured motorist insurance. Many people are driving without it though.
In some states, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory but in the majority of states, it’s optional, and it need only be offered to you. In some states, it covers both bodily injury and property damage up to your policy amounts, and in other states, it only covers bodily injury. That’s primarily what most people want it for anyway because it can cover you for the same damages you would seek if that same uninsured driver was insured. Those damages might include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you’re probably not the only person covered by it. Most policies include family members who are blood relatives and members of your household who are using your insured vehicle with your permission or are occupants of it. Coverage even applies if you or any other additional insured person is involved in an accident that was the fault of a hit-and-run driver. You and your family members who are residence of your household don’t have to be in an insured vehicle for coverage to attach either. Most uninsured motorist insurance covers you and any additional insured people as bicyclists or pedestrians.
Another surprise in the package is that if you have uninsured motorist coverage, you probably have underinsured motorist coverage too. Let’s say you suffered $50,000 of bodily injury damages, and the driver who caused your accident only had $20,000 of minimum liability coverage. You can make a claim through your underinsured motorist insurance for that excess $30,000.
With all of the benefits in the uninsured motorist insurance package, there’s no reason not to have the coverage. You’ll be claiming under your own insurance like you would against the liable party’s insurer, so you’ll probably want to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you make a claim. You’d likely be doing that anyway if you were claiming against the other guy.