Drivers in virtually every state are required to have car insurance in order to operate a vehicle legally. Unfortunately, not all drivers abide by this law; others may not have sufficient coverage in the case of a severe accident. Over 14% of drivers today carry very little or no insurance for their vehicle; getting in an accident with an uninsured motorist could be very costly for accident victims that do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you’re not familiar with this type of insurance coverage, here are a few things you should know about it:
- Uninsured motorist coverage can provide financial assistance for drivers who are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
This type of coverage is intended to cover your own costs if the other driver is liable for causing the accident but does not have car insurance. The specific options available for uninsured motorist coverage vary by state and insurance company.
- You purchase this coverage through your own insurance provider.
Many insurers include this type of coverage in their standard auto policy, and some are required by state laws to do so.
- There may be coverage limits on your uninsured motorist coverage policy.
As with most auto insurance policies, there may be a limit or cap on the amount of money your insurer will pay out for your uninsured motorist coverage after an accident. In most cases, you could choose between two types of uninsured motorist coverage:
- A combined single limit: The limit is the maximum amount of money you may receive per accident.
- A split limit: This is broken down into maximum dollar amounts for two components:
- The maximum dollar amount for each person’s accident-related costs
- The maximum dollar amount of money for everyone’s combined costs
As an example, if you have split limit coverage of $20,000/$45,000, the $20,000 would be the maximum paid out for injuries experienced by one person in the accident. The $45,000 is the maximum amount your insurance company would pay out for the total cost of injuries experienced by every person involved in the accident.
- Drivers in “No-Fault states” might not have to worry about uninsured motorist coverage.
Should you live in a no-fault state, the issue of who was at fault for an accident is not important because your insurance company would compensate you for your losses regardless of liability.
In a state with tort car insurance, drivers may not be protected in the same way and might need to purchase uninsured or underinsured coverage options. In a tort state, a person involved in an accident with an uninsured driver may be able to use their health insurance to cover their medical bills.
- You may call a lawyer for counsel if you have questions about liability or insurance coverage after an accident.
Though you may be insured and believe you have sufficient insurance to cover all contingencies, the costs related to a motor vehicle accident can quickly surpass the average insurance policy’s limits. An experienced car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts may be able to seek additional compensation by pursuing the at-fault driver’s relevant personal assets.
A skilled attorney may be able to negotiate the highest possible settlement from the insurance company. He or she may also be able to expedite the payment process. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision through no fault of your own, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Alex & Saavedra, P.C. for their insight into uninsured motorist coverage.