I have been reading some alarming reports lately suggesting that in some areas of the country as many as 1 in 5 drivers are uninsured. There is also the issue of underinsured drivers as well. In both cases, due to the slumping economy and illegal immigration, the number of drivers on the road without adequate coverage is on the rise.
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is a feature you can add to your auto insurance that pays you if you are in an accident and the other driver does not have insurance, or the amount of insurance is insufficient to cover your damages. This includes damage to your vehicle, medical expenses, and even lost wages. It would also pay you in the event of a hit and run accident. Some policies will also cover all members of your family hit by a vehicle while a pedestrian or riding a bicycle. Some states (such as California) require a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage to be included in virtually all policies. That is not the case in most states. Uninsured motorist coverage does not replace your need for collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage.
How Much Does This Kind Of Insurance Cost?
The cost of uninsured motorist coverage will vary based on where you live, but it should not cost you more than an additional 10% above a standard policy premium.
How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Do I Need?
One approach to this is have an identical amount of uninsured motorist coverage as you have in your standard policy limits. If you carry 100/300 (which is considered a reasonable minimum by most financial planners) you have $100,000 per person and $300,000 total per accident. You could likewise carry this same amount in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The amount of coverage you decide to put in force will be based on a number of factors. Such considerations as the amount of money you earn, the amount of personal assets you have, would all be considerations taken into account by a financial adviser in making a recommendation to you.
"For safe drivers underinsured (UIM) and uninsured (UM) coverage are even more important than liability insurance as you are more likely to use that coverage. This is particularly true if you live or drive in a big city where there are frequently more uninsured drivers or ones w/ minimal coverage. Making a first party claim for UM or UIM coverage does not involve suing your insurance company but instead a claim or arbitration process which is frequently more favorable to insureds than is a case in court against another driver." Tom Paris - Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
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