Few drivers know that their Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage in their car insurance policy also covers them for injuries suffered in other vehicles. In one of the cases we recently handled, our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was hit by a van. That van had a small policy of $15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident that had to be divided between our client and the driver of the vehicle where our client was a passenger. However, our the coverage of client’s own uninsured motorist policy on his personal vehicle was triggered and he was able to receive more compensation in that claim, to supplement the compensation that he had already received from the insurance carrier of the party at fault.
Most UM/UIM insurance policies cover losses suffered by the insured in a vehicle other than the one who is specifically covered by his policy. This is the kind if information the insurance carrier won’t likely volunteer, so being aware of this can be quite important in recovering compensation in cases where the party at fault is either uninsured, or underinsured or in hit-and-run accidents.
The importance of having uninsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in your car insurance policy cannot be overestimated, and considering that it only slightly increases the driver’s total insurance premium, there is no reason why you should not be having the UM coverage on your policy, especially if you are a driver in San Francisco Bay Area.
Some of the most serious accidents are caused by people who are reckless or at best irresponsible drivers. Ironically, people who are not responsible enough to drive safely, are often not responsible enough to have a valid car insurance. The are also the people who flee the scene of the accident, fearing both liability for the victim’s damages and for the legal consequences of driving without valid liability insurance, as each driver is required under California law.
If you end up sustaining injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured drivers, or a drivers who flees the scene of the incident, and you don’t have UM/UIM coverage, you are not likely to have any source of recovery for your injuries and pain and suffering, except the limited med pay coverage you may be having under your policy and your health insurance.
The direct benefits of having uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on their car insurance are obvious to most drivers. Such a coverage provides compensation for the insured’s bodily injuries and property damage in the event of collision with another driver, who does not have a valid liability insurance. In some cases, the uninsured motorist coverage also operates as underinsured (UIM) coverage, under which the injured party might obtain additional recovery from its own policy if the recovery from the liable party was not sufficient to compensate for all the injuries and damages, because that other party’s policy was insufficient, and he was “underinsured.”
However, every drivers should consider the other profound but not so obvious advantage of having uninsured motorist coverage. Generally, the more responsible people are also act more responsible on the road and are generally considered to be safer drivers. A person who is not responsible enough to comply with the law and have a liability insurance is more likely to drive irresponsibly and create dangerous situations on the road by speeding or otherwise acting “cool” on the road. Thus, the likelihood of getting into a serious accident with an uninsured motorist is higher than with a driver who is properly insured.
Further, people who cause serious accidents tend to flee from the scene of the incident more often to escape significant liability. An uninsured driver has even more reasons to try and run from the scene of the accident in order to not be cited for not having valid insurance. For a relatively small cost, your uninsured motorist coverage will cover your expenses for damages and injuries in a hit-and-run situation as well.
So, make sure you have an uninsured/underinsured coverage on your car insurance policy, as it provides significant and important protection for the most serious accidents.