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What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Do I Need It?

This blog addresses the following queries: What are the benefits of uninsured motorist coverage? and Why Should I buy it? Our response to the first question is an unqualified YES. Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is coverage added to your automobile liability policy that protects you in the event you are injured by (1) another driver who has no liability insurance; (2) injured by another driver whose liability insurance limits are insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries; or 3) INJURED BY A HIT AND RUN DRIVER.

For example, suppose you are involved in an accident and the "at fault" driver has no liability coverage. If you have liability insurance but did not elect to purchase UM Coverage, there will be no insurance available to cover your damages. If, however, you elected to purchase uninsured motorist coverage with limits of $100,000.00 you will then have up to your limits of UM Coverage to compensate you for any damages you sustained. An added benefit is that, when you actually file a lawsuit, you can have as a named defendant your UM carrier. This lets members of a jury know that there is an insurance carrier to cover your damages and that you have been forced to sue your own carrier for those damages.

UM Coverage also applies in another scenario. Suppose you or a family member is injured by an "at fault" driver who does indeed have liability insurance but the limits are the minimum allowed by the state in which you reside. Let's assume that you suffered damages, for example, totaling $500,000.00. If you had previously elected to purchase UM Coverage in the amount of $500.000.00, you would then have that $500,000.00 plus the limits of the "at fault" driver's policy added together to cover your damages. This is called Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

Another type of UM Coverage you might elect to purchase is called Stacked UM Coverage. For example, should you have three vehicles in your household all carrying "stacked" policies of UM Coverage in the amount of $50,000.00 each, and once again you are injured by an "at fault" uninsured driver, you could stack or add the limits of all three policies of "Stacked" UM Coverage together giving you a total of $150,000.00 of available coverage to compensate you for your injuries.

It is true of course that UM Coverage and Stacked UM Coverage cost more in annual premiums. However, when you consider the advantages such coverage provides in the event of an accident involving serious injuries to you or family members that were caused by the negligence of an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, it seems prudent to at least consider purchasing this added protection.

At Cole Law Group we try to proactively advise our clients regarding ways that they can protect themselves before a crisis occurs. However, should you be involved in an accident and need legal assistance, our personal injury attorneys are here to serve you and help you receive maximum compensation.

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