Let’s say you are in a car accident but it's not your fault. With auto insurance, typically the insurance company of the person who is at fault handles that insurance claims process. But wait... what if the person who hit you doesn't have insurance? What if they have insurance but it's not enough to cover all of the damage or all of the medical expenses? That's why it's helpful to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Now you are probably wondering, ”What is this uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and how does it work?” We can break it down for you! Uninsured Motorist Coverage is a coverage you would carry on your own auto insurance to help cover expenses for damage to your vehicle or your own or your passengers’ medical expenses if the person who caused the accident you are in does not have insurance. It’s important to note here, that some insurance companies have separate coverages for uninsured motorist coverage for property damage and uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury, and sometimes the policy combines both.
As for Underinsured Motorist Coverage, this coverage steps in and helps cover expenses after the responsible party's insurance has hit the coverage limit on their policy. So basically, it would be used when the person who caused the accident has insurance, but they don’t have enough coverage to pay for all of the expenses. If you have underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy, your coverage will step in and help cover the remaining expenses up to your policy’s coverage limit. Keep in mind, like mentioned above, some insurance companies have separate coverages for underinsured motorist coverage for property damage and underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury, and sometimes the policy combines both.
What Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Pay For?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is intended to cover only expenses for damage to your vehicle or property and medical expenses for yourself or any passengers with you. This coverage does not take care of the other party's expenses. If the other party was responsible and was uninsured or underinsured, they are responsible for their own expenses. Your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will not apply to them. This is a coverage you would carry to help you and your passengers.
Is it Required to Have Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage?
In some states, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may be required. Even if it is not required in your state, it could possibly be added to your policy if your insurance company offers that coverage in your state.
What Happens if I Don't have Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage?
If an uninsured or underinsured driver were to hit you and you don't have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you may find yourself footing the bill for your own vehicle repairs and medical expenses, or choosing to take legal action against the other party, which may not be successful. Both of these scenarios can become expensive and a bit of a headache to deal with.
If you want to avoid the hassle and stress of paying for your own car repairs and medical expenses when another driver causes the accident, check to see if you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you are looking for a new auto policy, keep in mind the benefits of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and ask whether it is included in the policy you are considering. HomeFirst® Agency knows the benefits of coverages like these and can help you find the auto insurance policy that best fits your needs!