Continued from part 3.

Think About it: You Need to Buy Insurance to Protect Yourself, Passengers, and Family Members by Purchasing Underinsured Motorist Coverage (part 4 of 4)

One serious mistake is to decline UIM coverage. Some companies require that you purchase UIM in the same amounts as the liability insurance. However, many companies, depending upon state law, are authorized to sell denominations of UIM coverage less than the liability limits. The insured thinks that he is providing some satisfactory minimal coverage for his family and decides to save some money with lower UIM limits. However, UIM is probably the most important place to spend money.

You are not as likely to cause an accident, as you are to be a victim of an accident. At least if you are taking the time to read this article, you are probably a person who will exercise more care and judgment in your driving than the ordinary person. Therefore, it is more likely that you will be making a claim against another person for injuries sustained by you at the hand of the third party tortfeasor. In this instance, the tortfeasor may (but likely will not) have sufficient insurance to cover you and your passengers for all of your medical expenses, wages loss, and general damages. If not, then the tortfeasor is said to be “underinsured”. In that instance, the balance of the value of your claim, above the bodily injury policy limits of the tortfeasor, is the responsibility of your own company’s UIM coverage.

A third possibility is if the tortfeasor is uninsured. This is a distinct likelihood if someone who is reckless, or who has a drinking problem or who is driving with a suspended license involves you in their traffic habits. They caused you and your passengers harm, but they have no insurance. You will be making your entire claim under your UIM polity limits.

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All too often, we have seen serious injuries to individuals and their families receive little or partial compensation because the insured elected to “save money” by not purchasing the maximum UIM coverage available to him. Purchase as much UIM coverage as you can.

Be Honest

A word of caution in dealing with your insurance company: don’t try to fool them on any of the information requested, or by insuring only one driver for each of the family vehicles. We have numerous cases holding that one family member is not covered because he or she was not named as a driver of another family vehicle. Questions of whether the vehicle was “available for the regular use” of any individual are complex issues, and history tells that you will lose. Disclose the full number of drivers and you will have the knowledge that you and family members are covered.

By admin