Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage

According to a fairly recent study I read by the Insurance Research Council, roughly 20% of all California drivers are uninsured.

In 2015, Michigan, New Mexico, and Tennessee had an estimated 20% plus uninsured motorists on the road and Florida had over 25%.

Those figures have likely not decreased.

From my experience representing injury victims for nearly thirty (30) years, people rarely understand how important it is to have the highest uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) limits that you can possibly afford. They only learn this after they get hurt.

This coverage essentially puts your insurance company ‘in the shoes’ of the uninsured motorist who caused your injury.

UM/UIM coverage is essential. Here is an example as to why.

I recently met with a woman who was badly hurt in a motor vehicle accident. She has low liability/UM/UIM limits of only $15,000 per person. She was injured by a drunk driver with prior DUI citations and numerous traffic citations for speeding. That drunk driver likely won’t have much liability insurance coverage, if any. Assuming he has the lowest possible limits ($15,000 per person/$30,000 aggregate), as I expect, the most this woman will likely be able to recover is only $15,000. That is not enough to adequately and fairly compensate her in my opinion.

If you purchase, for instance, $100,000/$300,000 in UM/UIM coverage and someone badly hurts you and has no coverage, they are an uninsured motorist (a UM). The most you can recover in that scenario is only $100,000, as against your own insurer.

Say the person who hurts you has minimal limits of $15,000/$30,000 and you were badly hurt? In that case, your attorneys would want to recover the at-fault party’s $15,000 limit and then, recover all (or as much as possible) of the remaining $85,000 UIM limit.

The best way to protect yourself and your family? Call your automobile insurance company immediately. Tell them that you want the most UM/UIM coverage that they will sell you. Buy as much UM/UIM coverage as you can possibly afford to best protect yourself and your family.

If you have questions about your coverage, call me.

I'm here to help.

Eliot

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