Is uninsured and underinsured motorist protection a good idea?

June 24, 2012 by Gregory J. Brod

I recently read an inquiry to Consumer Reports about whether or not uninsured motorist coverage protection was worth purchasing, as an additional provision in a driver's insurance policy. In many ways, uninsured motorist coverage ("UM") and underinsured motorist coverage ("UIM"), can be equally as important, if not more important than the liability portion of an insurance policy, itself. An auto insurance policy with limits of 50/100, for example, would offer coverage of $50,000.00 per person, and $100,000.00 per occurrence. Under these insurance policy limits, if a driver is involved in an auto accident involving one other person, the most that injured person could recover from the driver's policy would be $50,000.00. If there were four people injured in that collision, the most all four could recover under the driver's insurance policy would be $100,000.00.

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) comes into play when someone is injured by a driver with no insurance (though it is required by law in California) or by a driver with insurance policy limits that aren't sufficient to cover the claim of the injured person. For example, if someone has UM/UIM coverage limits of 100/300 and an uninsured driver runs a red light and causes an accident that causes injuries, the most the injured person could recover would be $100,000.00. If the offending driver had insurance policy limits of 15/30 ($15,000.00 per person, and $30,000.00 per occurrence), the injured person would be entitled to recover $15,000.00 from the offending driver, and then seek the remaining $85,000.00 (totaling $100,000.00) from their own insurance company. UM/UIM coverage is a very important protection to have, because one certainly can't predict if another driver will cause an auto accident, and what kind of insurance coverage that person will have. Therefore, maintaining sufficient UM/UIM limits to your own auto insurance policy is very important, because it protects you, in the event someone with no insurance, or inadequate insurance, causes an auto accident.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident caused by a driver with no insurance, or limited insurance policy limits, please call the Brod Law Firm to learn your rights. At the Brod Law Firm, we've been fighting for the rights of injured Californians during three decades. Call today for a free initial consultation.