Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage Has Never Been More Important

Americans are cutting corners financially right now. The global pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the budgets of our citizens.  Here at the Ferguson Law Group we have seen a significant increase in the number of accidents involving uninsured motorists.  We have noticed the following trends:

  1. A sharp increase in the number of accidents involving uninsured at-fault drivers;
  2. A staggering number of cases where both the at-fault driver and the injured driver do not have adequate automobile insurance;
  3. A frightening upward trend of hit and run auto accidents.

So what is the answer?  Make sure that every car you drive has sufficient uninsured motorist coverage NOW.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist generally protects you regardless of what private vehicle that you are driving or riding in as a passenger.  It is optional coverage that is not mandatory.  However, most states require that an insurance company to prove that a policyholder was informed about uninsured motorist coverage and rejected it in writing.  In spite of this requirement, in the experience of our skilled automobile accident attorneys, motorists are grossly underinformed and confused about what uninsured motorist coverage is and how it protects their families. Depending on the coverage you select, uninsured motorist coverage generally provides coverage for property damage and bodily injury under the following circumstances

  1. Where the insured is damaged by the carelessness of another at-fault driver who has no insurance at all.
  2. Where an insured is damaged by a hit and run at-fault driver who leaves the scene of the accident and is never identified.

Note that special rules apply to hit and run driver cases.  For example, an insured may be required to prove that there was contact between his/her vehicle and the vehicle of hit and run driver or proof that an accident occurred through the testimony of an independent witness to the accident in cases where, for example, a hit and run driver runs an insured off the road without the vehicles making contact.

How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Do I Need?

Uninsured motorist policies typically come in coverage amounts of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident or $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident but coverage limits may be much higher depending upon what the policyholder selects at the time of applying for coverage.  Likewise, 

In most states, coverage may either be reduced or add-on.  Reduced coverage provides coverage that is reduced by the amount of liability coverage available to the at-fault party.  For example, in a case where a person has reduced uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000/$50,000 and the at-fault party has a policy of $25,000/$50,000 in liability coverage, the uninsured motorist would have zero coverage available to you.  Likewise, if the uninsured motorist had $100,000/$300,000 in reduced uninsured motorist coverage and the at-fault driver had $25,000/$50,000 in liability coverage, the $25,000 in coverage provided by the liability coverage of the at-fault party would be subtracted, or “reduced,” from the $100,000 in reduced uninsured motorist coverage.  Therefore, the uninsured motorist would have $75,000.00 in available uninsured motorist coverage.  

How Expensive is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Its usually cheap.  The cost of insurance coverage is very small compared to the value of the benefit received.  Usually, for just a few hundred dollars a year you can protect your family from injury by a careless person who doesn’t carry insurance or a person who causes an accident and leaves.

Who is Covered by my Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Many people may be covered by one uninsured motorist policy.  Uninsured motorist coverage will cover the named insured, who is usually the policyholder or person who negotiates the premium with the insurance company.  Also, anyone that you list on your policy as a covered person, such as a spouse, children or parent.  Also, uninsured motorist coverage may provide coverage to any “Resident Relative” of your household who has not been excluded from the policy.  For example, if you live with your adult sister in the same household, you may be covered for uninsured motorist coverage under her policy if her insurance company has not specifically excluded you from the policy.  Please note that this special resident relative rule typically does NOT apply to liability coverage covering you in the event you make a mistake, are deemed to be at-fault and hurt someone in an accident.  Also, passengers in your vehicle that are injured by an uninsured at-fault driver may be covered under the uninsured motorist coverage on the vehicle.

Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage also Cover the Damage to my Vehicle?

Yes. Uninsured motorist coverage may be purchased to cover both bodily injuries and property damage.

What Damages for Personal Injury Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay For?

Uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury may pay for:

  1. Present and future medical expenses;
  2. Lost wages due to injury;
  3. Lost wages during the period of injury;
  4. Losses by a spouse of the injured party during the period of injury.

Uninsured motorist coverage is perhaps the most complex form of coverage on an automobile insurance policy and is usually needed at a time of pain, stress, confusion and trauma.  The only way to analyze available uninsured motorist coverage if you have been involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist or someone who fled the scene of the accident is to contact our seasoned, experienced car wreck attorneys immediately or fill out the contact form on this website.  We are available 24/7.