Protect Yourself with UIM Coverage

As you leave your home in the morning to commute to work or run your daily errands, you’re probably not thinking about getting involved in an accident.  Rather, your mind might be on your upcoming tasks, the fact that you’re running late, or simply, the morning news.

If we asked you today about what would happen if you were involved in an accident, you might respond that of course, you’d file a claim and your insurance would take care of it.

But what if we dug a little deeper, and proposed to you the following scenario:

You are hit by a college student and your car is totaled.  Thankfully, you were the only person riding in your car and you got away with a broken leg and some bruises.  Still, a five-day stay in the hospital is required and you will likely be unable to return to work for a few weeks.

The problem:  The college student who hit you, while at-fault, didn’t carry any insurance and doesn’t have the income, savings or assets to cover the damage he caused for you.  That means, you are now responsible for your own bill:  The replacement of your totaled car, your medical expenses and loss of income, as well as applicable legal fees.

Yikes.  That doesn’t seem right.

Let’s take a quick look at your insurance:  The only part that’s required by law is your liability insurance.  It pays for property damage and medical payments you cause to another driver if you are at-fault in an accident.  But your liability coverage doesn’t pay you if you are hit.

This is where UM / UIM (Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist) Coverage comes in.  This is the coverage that protects you if you experience damages or loss caused to you by another driver who doesn’t carry any or insufficient insurance…  like the college student in the example, above.

UIM coverage is not a required coverage of your car insurance.

Do you carry it?

As a Washington State driver, consider these facts:

  • 16% percent of Washington’s drivers carry no insurance.  In other words, every 6th driver on the road is uninsured – and if one of them hits you, they will have no coverage to pay for the property damage or injuries that they may cause you.
  • An additional, unknown number of drivers carries insurance, but they fail to carry enough to cover a serious injury claim.
  • In Washington, an auto insurance policy must provide, at a minimum, the following basic types and amounts of coverage:
    • $25,000 per person for injuries suffered in an accident.
    • $50,000 per accident if more than one person is injured.
    • $10,000 per accident for property damage.

    Translate these numbers into real life:  State law requires drivers to carry only enough insurance to cover a minor surgery and, maybe, one night in a hospital.  And only enough to do this for up to two people.  Damage to the vehicle would only be covered up to $10,000 – not enough to cover a fairly new SUV or sedan.

    Imagine a family of four in a Chevy Tahoe getting hit at 60 mph on the freeway by a driver who dutifully carries state minimum liability limits….  It’s not hard to see that this coverage wouldn’t be enough.

    Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you in case you are hit by a driver who doesn’t carry sufficient insurance.  Please give us a call today to add this important protection to your car insurance plan.

    Watch this video from the Insurance Information Institute