Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is one the least understood coverage auto insurance coverage types. It also happens to be one of the most important. For a relatively modest price, UM coverage can protect drivers who are involved in an accident from financial catastrophe. If your vehicle is struck by a driver who does not carry liability insurance or if you suffer serious injury by a driver with low limits of liability coverage, UIM can make a world of difference.
UM/UIM coverage is not required in California. California also has one of the lowest minimum liability coverage requirements in the country. This combination can leave car accident victims stuck with expensive medical bills, a situation that is far too common.
Common Scenario 1) The Uninsured Driver
You’re driving down the street when your vehicle is struck by a driver who ran a red light. The other driver admits fault, but also admits that he does not have insurance. If you only carry liability insurance, but no UM insurance, you are most likely going to have to pay for medical bills and property damage out of pocket. Pursuing a lawsuit against an at-fault, uninsured driver rarely results in financial recovery.
Common Scenario 2) The Serious Injury
You’re on the freeway as you approach stopped traffic. You slow down and eventually come to a stop. The very large pick up truck behind you does not. Struck from behind, you crash in to the car in front of you. Your injuries require surgery and intensive physical therapy, resulting in a six-figure medical bill. The driver of the truck that failed to stop has policy limits of $15,000. Without UIM insurance, you would be financially responsible for the remainder of medical bills.
Common Scenario 3) The Hit and Run
You’re driving on the freeway at night when you spot a car erratically speeding and weaving through traffic in your rear view mirror. You stay in your lane and maintain speed, but driving responsibly doesn’t prevent the speeding vehicle from clipping your bumper. The impact is enough to spin your vehicle out of control, which slams into the sidewall. The other driver doesn’t stop. Hit and run drivers are typically treated the same as uninsured motorists. If you do not have UM insurance and cannot identify the vehicle that hit you, you would be unable to collect compensation.
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth recommends that all California drivers carry UM/UIM insurance for their vehicles. According to the most recent data from the Insurance Information Institute, about 15.2 percent of all drivers in California do not have auto insurance. If you’re stopped behind 7 people at a stop light, odds are that one of those vehicles is uninsured. UM/UIM insurance is usually quite affordable, and the risk of driving without UM/UIM insurance is too great to not have it. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth today. We offer free consultations at 888-517-9888.