In this article I will discuss the importance of UM/UIM coverage. If you search personal injury/car accident articles on the internet, you will find that many injury lawyers recommend that people increase their limits for UM/UIM coverage. Why are they doing that?
At first glance, it seems strange that injury lawyers recommend that people increase their UM/UIM coverage. Why would injury lawyers, people who regularly sue insurance companies, recommend that people pay more for their insurance? The answer is important: it is so your family is better protected.
UM insurance, or uninsured motorist insurance, protects your family if an uninsured driver injures your family. With the economic difficulty that people face today, more and more people are driving their motorcycles, cars, and trucks without insurance. Some statistics that I have seen said that in some states up to 10-20% of the drivers are uninsured. If these drivers cannot afford insurance, do you think that they can afford to pay your medical bills if they injure you? Because of the large number of uninsured drivers, it is important that you have as much coverage as you can afford. Please remember, I regularly sue insurance companies, and I am saying this to help you, and not to increase the insurance company’s profit.
UIM insurance, or underinsured motorist insurance, protects your family if a driver causes more injuries than he or she has insurance to pay. For example, if a truck driver has $50,000.00 worth of insurance, but causes injuries to your son in the amount of $60,000.00 and your daughter in the amount of $70,000.00, who is going to pay the difference between the amount of your son and daughter’s damages and the available insurance? If you have UIM insurance, your UIM insurance pays this difference. Because insurance is expensive, many people do not have adequate levels of insurance and when these people injure others, they do not have adequate insurance to pay for the injuries that they cause.
I know that insurance is expensive for you, just as it is expensive for me. It is hard to pay for increased UM/UIM insurance, but there are strong reasons for doing it.
I have already discussed the fact that uninsured and underinsured drivers are becoming more frequent in today’s economy so I will not repeat myself. Many people believe that they have adequate UM/UIM coverage when they do not. Let me describe that—In Minnesota, for example, if you have UM/UIM coverage in the amount of $50,000.00, and the person who injures you has $50,000.00 in liability coverage, then you have a total amount available to you of $100,000.00--$50,000.00 from the liability insurance company and $50,000.00 from the UM/UIM insurance company. In North Dakota, Wisconsin, and in other states, they interpret coverage differently. Those states are called “difference of limits” states. In those states, if you have UM/UIM coverage in the amount of $50,000.00 and the person who injures you has limits of $50,000.00, you can recover only $50,000.00 because there is no “difference in limits” between $50,000.00 and $50,000.00. People in these states believe that they are covered when they pay for UM/UIM coverage, but they are only covered if the person who injures them has a smaller insurance policy than they have—otherwise, they will not collect from the policy for which they are paying premiums.
Sadly, in my career I have helped many families whose injuries were not compensated because the driver involved had a small insurance policy. The unpaid bills cause a catastrophe even after the injury takes place. I want to stop this from happening if I can; therefore, please contact your insurance agent and ask him or her how much it would cost to increase your UM/UIM coverage. I hope that you will take my advice and increase your protection for your family.