Why you need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

By Member Lawyer

Why you need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage


If you’re in an accident and the other driver is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance, will your injuries be covered? If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (UM/UIM coverage), the answer is probably “yes.” Many auto insurance industry experts recommend choosing this option. You might think that because your state requires auto insurance, most people have it. However, according to the Insurance Research Council, about one in eight drivers in the United States is uninsured. Alabama is one of the highest at an estimated 19.5%.


Read on to find out why expert motor vehicle accident attorneys at Warren & Simpson, P.C. recommend uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage.


What is uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage? 


Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can pay for injuries to you and your passengers when there is an accident, and the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and considered “uninsured” or “underinsured.”

An uninsured driver is someone who did not have any insurance, had insurance that did not meet Alabama’s minimum motorist coverage liability requirements, or whose insurance company denied their claim.

A hit-and-run driver is also considered an uninsured driver in many states.

An underinsured driver is someone who met state minimum motorist coverage legal financial responsibility requirements but did not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage they caused.

In these cases, uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage can pay you for your damages.


Is uninsured motorist coverage/underinsured motorist coverage required? 


Most states do not require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage/underinsured motorist coverage usually cannot be bought without liability insurance being purchased. Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims are governed by the state law where the policy was issued or where the covered vehicles are garaged. It’s always best, regardless of what’s in your policy, to contact a lawyer for advice on how to handle an accident.


Why would you want uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?


The Insurance Information Institute’s Vice President, Carolyn Gorman, praises the virtues of uninsured motorist coverage/underinsured motorist coverage.

“You absolutely need this coverage, because, if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn’t have enough of it, you want to be made financially whole again. You have to protect yourself fiscally and physically, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection can help you in that regard.”

It’s usually relatively cheap to add uninsured/underinsured motorist protection to your car insurance policy, especially considering the amount of protection it offers. Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage protects you and your passengers. When you compare car insurance quotes, you should be sure to take uninsured/underinsured coverage into account. It could pay your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If someone hits you or your car and is legally responsible for the damages, you won’t get any money from them if they don’t have money to give you. Especially during times when people are struggling economically, many drivers either don’t have insurance or don’t have enough. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can receive compensation even if the other driver can’t pay.

Trevor Neely
Author: Trevor Neely

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