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What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage? Why Should I Have It?

By Douglas N. Engelman

Auto insurance is important, so important that the Pennsylvania law mandates that all drivers must be insured to at least state minimum standards. But, of course, not everybody follows the law.

Recent statistics show that approximately 1 in 7 drivers in the United States are uninsured. These drivers usually choose to drive without insurance because they feel that it’s too expensive or because they think that their cars are not driven enough to justify the cost of coverage. These drivers are called uninsured motorists.

Additionally, some drivers insure their vehicles to state minimums. In these cases, they have insurance, but if you are injured by a driver with this minimum coverage, the insurance will only pay to a set amount, regardless of the costs associated with the accident.

If you have an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may have to pay for your own medical expenses and you may lose income due to time away from work. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is intended to help in this situation. If the other driver has some insurance, but not enough to cover all of your bills, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage will help you pay the difference.

UM and UIM coverage should cover the following:

  • Medical bills, including ambulance fees, medical bills, prescriptions, etc.
  • Lost wages and income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of future earnings
UM and UIM coverage is usually not designed to cover vehicle damage or towing.

UM and UIM coverage is available through your insurance provider and most attorneys highly recommend carrying this coverage to offer you the best possible protection in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. While you make the claim against your own insurance company, having this coverage allows you to receive payment without any detriment to you.

Other instances where UM and UIM coverage can be utilized include:

  • Cases of hit and run, where the other driver is unable to be located
  • Accidents where passengers sustain injuries and the driver has coverage
  • Pedestrian or bicycle accidents where the injured person has coverage

How We Can Help

By retaining an experienced attorney, you can ensure that you are able to take advantage of the coverage you paid for with your premiums. Contact me today to discuss your options for seeking recovery if you have been involved with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.




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