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When buying car insurance most people focus on the limits of liability coverage and don’t pay much attention to the Uninsured Motorist Coverage. That is because the law requires all cars to carry at a minimum liability insurance to protect others against the risk of loss caused by a car accident. The law does not require Uninsured Motorist coverage, which is intended to protect the driver and occupants of a car against injury by another driver that is uninsured, or has inadequate insurance coverage.
Ask yourself, “How much UM coverage do I have?” Do you know the answer? If not, you better check your policy to be sure that (1) you have the UM coverage, and (2) the limits of coverage are high.
Why would you want a high limit of coverage on the UM portion of the car policy? Well, that is the part that protects you and your family if injuries are caused by an uninsured driver, hit and run driver, or driver with inadequate coverage.
Most insurance companies will not allow you to purchase more UM coverage that liability coverage, so if you buy 30,000/60,000 liability coverage (30,000 per person/60.000 per accident), then you would not be able to purchase more UM coverage than that.
A client was seriously hurt recently when a hit and run driver crashed into him, causing very serious injuries to his head and back. Our early estimation was that the case had a value in excess of $200,000 based on similar cases. Unfortunately for the client, the limit of his UM coverage was only $30,000. Unless his company was guilty of bad faith refusal to settle for that limit, there would be very little chance of ever recovering more than that.
The lesson: (1) Check on your UM coverage today (2) consider increasing the coverage substantially.
If you have any questions about this, talk to your auto insurance agent. While you are at it, check on your Med Pay coverage and consider raising that limit also.