UM/UIM Coverage, huh? What are these? Why do I need these? Isn’t this just another way for my auto insurance company to squeeze more money out of me? The truth is that UM or Uninsured Motorist and UIM or Underinsured motorist coverage’s are some of the most important components of your auto policy – ignoring them can be catastrophic. So why are these so important, it lies in the numbers; statistically there are nearly 15% of drivers on the road without liability insurance or UM drivers and for a great portion of those insured drivers on the road they will only carry minimum state mandated coverage to keep them legally on the road. Insurance companies offer you UM/UIM coverage to protect you in instances like these, to step in and offer coverage for medical bills, property damage, and injuries when an auto accident occurs in the aforementioned type scenarios.
When does UM come into play?
UM or Uninsured Motorist Coverage comes into play in several instances, some examples are:
- You’re in a car accident with a person who has no insurance,
- You’re in a car accident and don’t know the other person’s identity, or their info,
- You’re involved in a hit and run.
In these scenarios, you can look to your own insurance company for coverage, just the same as if it were a known person who was insured.
When does UIM come into play?
UM or Underinsured Motorist Coverage comes into play when an at-fault driver is carrying less coverage than your damages, your UIM coverage can kick in to cover the deficiency. In Pennsylvania state minimum coverage requires drivers to carry $15K/$30K in liability coverage to drive legally; so if the at fault driver has minimum coverage, but your injuries are in excess of their coverage, you can look to your own UIM coverage to make up the difference (up tot the limits you selected).
Is UM and UIM Mandatory in Pennsylvania?
No, this coverage is not mandatory in Pennsylvania, but all carriers are required to offer UM and UIM options on their policies. If you elect to not have UM and UIM coverage, often times your insurance company will make you sign and date a waiver of these coverage’s.
UM/UIM TIP: Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at KaplunMarx, PLLC always request copies any waiver documents from your insurance company, if the insurance company cannot be provide the waiver, you are deemed to have elected UM/UIM coverage in an amount equal to your liability limits.
Bottom Line: Should I buy UM/UIM?
In a word, YES! UM/UIM coverage is where you control your own protection for yourself, other drivers on the policy and any passengers in the vehicle at the time of an auto accident. It would be a poor bet to hope that the at fault driver has purchased enough coverage to take care of all the bills and compensation for you. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that certainly applies to UM and UIM.
Reading your car insurance policy can be like reading a foreign language, we hope this blog post makes the concept of UM/UIM coverage a little more understandable. Now, go review your auto insurance policies declarations page, or contact the auto accident lawyers at KaplunMarx, we will be happy to do a free review of your auto insurance policy (mention the UM/UIM Coverage blog post – we appreciate the love).