What are Your UM/UIM Limits and Why You Should Check

Despite the fact that all fifty states mandate a certain level of insurance coverage before a driver can set out on the open road, many people leave the house with inadequate coverage — or without coverage at all. An accident involving this type of driver could be extremely expensive. Luckily, the conscientious driver can purchase a UM/UIM option with their car insurance policy to help blunt the effects of irresponsible drivers who have inadequate or nonexistent insurance coverage.

UM/UIM Explained

UM/UIM insurance essentially stands for a much longer title: Uninsured Motorists / Under Insured Motorists. It guards against those who haven’t purchased auto insurance before setting out on the open road, or those who simply have purchased minimal coverage that is not sufficient to cover the high cost of medical and repair bills for the other motorist involved in an accident.

Many states don’t require the coverage, but is available in all of them. It’s worth taking a moment to check whether you have this coverage on your policy, as many people simply don’t realize what it is, why they need it, and how it can help them. If you don’t have it on your policy, the time to add it is now — maybe even yesterday. If you currently have a policy, it’s worth checking into the coverage amounts and limits it provides.

What Are Your Limits?

It’s important for drivers to know exactly what the UM/UIM policy and limits are because the number of uninsured drivers on the road numbers in the tens of millions. The likelihood of a collision with an uninsured or under insured motorist is on the rise, as are the associated medical and repair costs. The poor economy means that many drivers simply can’t pay the insurance bill but keep driving anyway because they have to get to work.

Being aware of your coverage limits ensures that you will be able to talk with your insurance company about your options in the event of an accident. It also ensures that your financial situation will not be at risk due to another motorist’s insurance problems.

What It Covers

UM/UIM insurance can cover medical bills resulting from an uninsured motorist’s indiscretion. This is vitally important, as an uninsured motorist simply will not be able to compensate an affected driver for any costs. While a driver can sue for damages and repairs, it’s likely that someone who hasn’t purchased insurance will not have the money to pay court fees, damages settlements, or other court-mandated consequences.

And while an affected driver’s insurance company may cover some of the costs, it will leave thousands — maybe even tens of thousands — of dollars uncovered and payable immediately. There is really nothing else an insurance company can or will do, essentially because your premium amount determines your coverage and it’s only within their power to provide as much coverage and compensation as you originally paid for.

Lacking UM/UIM insurance can lead a driver straight to financial ruin, and that’s reason enough to check your limits and make sure you have adequate coverage.

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