The Benefits of Uninsured and Underinsured Coverarge
Uninsured and underinsured automobile coverage is extremely valuable. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t have it, and most drivers don’t even know what it is. Because the insurance companies would prefer that you not have this coverage, the motoring public does not have a good grasp of uninsured or underinsured coverage. Most people do not purchase this coverage, and by not having it, they deprive themselves of valuable insurance benefits.
While insurance is mandatory in Arizona, approximately 30% of all drivers are uninsured. Of those that are insured, approximately 30% only purchase the minimum coverage of $15,000.00 per person, $30,000.00 per accident. That leaves you with an approximate 50% chance of being involved in an accident with a motorist that is either uninsured or only has minimum coverage. It is unwise to think that the other guy will have adequate insurance to cover your losses. Protect yourself first!
You can only buy uninsured and underinsured coverage in the limits that you purchase for liability coverage. By way of example, if you have minimum liability coverage of $15,000.00 per person, $30,000.00 per accident, you can only buy uninsured and underinsured coverage of $15,000.00 per person, $30,000.00 per accident. However, if you buy liability coverage of $100,000.00 per person, $300,000.00 per accident, you can add uninsured and underinsured coverage up to $100,000.00 per person, $300,000.00 per accident. If you add an umbrella of $1,000,000.00, the umbrella can apply to uninsured and underinsured as well.
As we see time and time again, it is the uninsured and the underinsured motorists that are the cause of most accidents. This is why it is so important to protect yourself first.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and have uninsured motorist coverage, your policy pays for the fault of the other driver. If the other driver has insurance, but the insurance is not enough to cover your losses, your underinsured coverage “fills the gap.”
With the ruling in Taylor vs. Travelers Insurance, insureds can now take advantage of not only their own liability coverage, but underinsured coverage as well to get them up to a full measure of damages under the liability portion of the policy.
Everyone reading this article should call their agent to determine if they have uninsured and underinsured coverage and if so, in what amounts. The amounts should match your liability coverage, and your liability coverage should be not less than $100,000.00 per person, $300,000.00 per accident. The cost is minimal and the benefits are great should the coverage be needed.