Uninsured / Under Insured Motorist Coverage
While everyone driving in California is required by law to carry insurance, there are many drivers on the road who do not comply with the law. This is where your Uninsured Motorist Coverage comes into effect.
If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver who does not have insurance your medical expenses, loss of earnings and pain and suffering can be paid to you by your insurance company under your Uninsured Motorist coverage. This type of coverage will also apply to any passengers in your vehicle, but people often don’t purchase it and may come to regret it when they are injured by an uninsured motorist. Many times an uninsured motorist is not going to have any money to pay you for your injuries or damage to your vehicle.
Additionally, most insurance companies offer Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage for a very small premium, in connection with Uninsured Motorist Coverage. If you have this coverage and your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured motorist, your insurance company will cover the cost of repairs or replacement for your vehicle, without using your collision coverage and you can avoid paying a deductible. A recent review of a State Farm Good-driver Policy showed a six-month premium for 100/300 Uninsured Motor Vehicle coverage was approximately $20, and the Uninsured Motor Vehicle Coverage Property Damage 6 month premium to be $3.00. While your premium may be slightly more, one can clearly see the cost is still quite nominal for the protection afforded. Be aware that insurance companies rarely explain these coverages to their insured, because it exposes them to paying money on claims where premiums are relativity cheap.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage also acts as Underinsured Motorist. This means that if you are injured by someone who was not carrying enough liability insurance to compensate you for your injuries, after you settle with their insurance company, you can collect under your own policy as well. For example, if you have damages that are $25,000 and the other party only has $15,000 in coverage, you can collect the $15,000 from their carrier and then collect the additional $10,000 from your carrier, if your limits are greater than $15,000. We suggest carrying at least 100/300 in coverage.
This coverage is important considering so many drivers in California are either uninsured or under-insured. It is certainly worth talking to your insurance agent about this type of coverage and make sure that you are protecting yourself and your family.
We will be back with more insurance coverage information in our next newsletter!
If you suspect or are concerned that your automobile insurance coverage is not adequate for uninsured accidents, please call us right away. We can review your coverages and suggest improvements to your policy to help protect you, should you be involved in an accident.
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