What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Do You Really Need it?
When you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company, get your car repaired, and receive compensation for any lost wages and medical expenses, which results in no out-of-pocket costs to you. 1
But what happens when you’re in an accident and the driver who hits you doesn’t have enough liability coverage? Or, even worse, when the driver flees the scene of the accident? In these situations, you would be responsible for paying for damages and medical expenses not covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance. This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage kicks in and provides financial protection. 1
There are 2 Types of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
- Covers medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and injury-related expenses up to the amount specified by your policy 2
- Covers you, other drivers with permission to drive your vehicle, and any passengers 1
- Can also provide coverage for damage and injuries during a hit-and-run 1
Property Damage Coverage
- Covers the cost of car repair and replacement 3
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage may also cover damage to other personal property, such as:
- Your house, fence, laptop, cellphone, etc. 4
How Does it Work?
The Insurance Research Council estimates that 1 out of every 7 drivers in the U.S. is currently uninsured. 4 An uninsured driver is a driver who has no insurance and is found to be at least partially at fault or causes a hit-and-run. 4 When you file a claim with your insurance company, they reimburse you as if you were a third party.
According to The Insurance Research Council, about 1 in 8 drivers were underinsured in 2012. 1 An underinsured driver has insurance, but does not have enough to cover the cost of your damages. For instance, if the at-fault driver is responsible for $35,000 in damages to you, but their coverage has a limit of $25,000, you would be responsible for the $10,000 difference. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, your policy would cover the $10,000 difference. 2
There is a mandatory $250 deductible for UM/UIM coverage.
Texas State Law Requirements
Texas state law requires all motorists to have auto liability insurance. Minimum coverage in Texas is $30,000 per injured person with a limit of $60,000 for all injured persons in the accident. 2
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
When deciding how much UM/UIM coverage you need, consider three things:
- Your car’s value
- Your auto insurance collision deductible
- Your medical insurance deductible and the overall limits of your plan
Call us today at (972) 673-0045 (and press 3) to speak with our Personal Home and Auto Insurance Specialists and learn more about Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.