Uninsured Motorist Insurance: Coverage Protection from Uninsured Drivers

Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance is required in some states to deter lawsuits. If you are involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance, this coverage would protect you against damages. Don’t assume that everyone on the road has the minimum liability coverage on their vehicle that is required by law. Many people drive without insurance hoping for the best. If you have an accident with one of these people, they won’t have the insurance necessary to pay for repairs and injuries. If you sue them, they are unlikely to have the savings necessary to pay for your losses. Having uninsured motorist coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist will help cover these costs and also if the driver has liability insurance but your losses exceed the other driver’s liability limit.

When you buy UM, you can set your own coverage limits. You have the option between split limits and combined limits. Usually, UM coverage has split limits, which means that there are limits with per-person and per-accident coverage. You’ll have a breakdown of options, like 20/40, which means that you’re covered up to $20,000 per person but your maximum overall coverage for the accident is $40,000, even if there were four people in your car total (which brings it down to $10,000 per person if all four people are hurt).

Combined limits are another option for UM. With this kind of coverage only has one amount that is to be paid out by the insurer per accident. For instance, a $40,000 limit will cover you up to $40,000 total regardless of how many people are in the car. If one person needs $40,000 worth of medical attention, you are covered after you pay a deductible.

Another kind of coverage is Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage (UMPD), which only exists in certain states. This coverage sets a limit for vehicle repairs for people who don’t carry comprehensive and collision coverage. Some insurers will accept this in place of a deductible.

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