Um Coverage English

Why UM Coverage Is So Important

Over the course of a typical driving lifetime, a driver can expect to be involved in three to four accidents. Even with statistics like this, it is still easy to think it will never happen to you. But as the old adage says, you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Uninsured motorist coverage can help you do this.

This coverage is optional but provides very important benefits to you and certain others who sustain injuries from an auto accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The coverage allows you to collect amounts from your own insurance carrier that you would have been able to collect from the at-fault party if they had insurance or sufficient insurance limits. It can provide additional medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other expenses that might arise when an injury occurs. Once coverage has been triggered, benefits will be paid directly to the injured person, normally in a lump sum.

You may wonder why you need to purchase UM coverage if you have PIP and health insurance since in most cases, after your PIP coverage is exhausted, your health insurance may pay some of your medical bills. Most health insurance policies include deductibles and copayments which are out of pocket expenses for you. Health insurance normally does not provide coverage for expenses you may incur if you or a covered family member must stay in a convalescent center. In some cases where an injury is severe, permanent or requires a longer recovery time, it can be very important for your quality of life and financial health to have coverage that will continue to pay for lost wages, replacement services that may be required like lawn maintenance or housekeeping, pain and suffering or modifications needed for your home or automobile due to your injuries such as a wheelchair ramp or a vehicle with special equipment.

When purchasing UM, you must make two decisions. You must decide the limits you need and whether or not you want stacked or non-stacked coverage. All insurance companies are required to provide stacked UM with the same limits as your Bodily Injury coverage. Some insurance companies offer the option to purchase lower limits and/or non-stacked coverage. Stacked UM coverage means that the limit will increase by the number of vehicles you own, regardless of whether or not the vehicles are insured on the same policy. In other words, if you have stacked UM limits of 50/100 and own three vehicles, your actual coverage is multiplied times three or 150/300. If you elect non-stacked UM at 50/100, that is the maximum coverage available in an accident regardless of how many vehicles you own. Another important coverage difference between the stacked and nonstacked form is how the policy will respond if you are injured by an uninsured/underinsured motorist in a vehicle you own but do not have insured. In that case, only the stacked form would respond.

The bottom line is, you should carry stacked Uninsured Motorist coverage to make sure that you and your family have the broadest protection – anywhere, anytime, in any vehicle – if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, let the injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your accident and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!