Protecting Your Family Against Uninsured Drivers
It’s a dreaded event for any driver to get into an accident. Even if no one is injured, it’s frightening and it’s a hassle. To make matters worse, what if you are injured in an accident, which was caused by another driver who has no insurance or too little coverage to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses? Unfortunately, it happens every single day; in the U.S., 1 in 8 drivers have no auto insurance at all.
This is why Weiner, Spivey & Miller, PLC, urges you and every vehicle owner to check (and raise) the amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on their own insurance policy. It is not expensive! Ultimately, having this coverage will ensure that adequate resources are available if someone with little or no coverage injures you in an accident.
How UM/UIM Coverage Works
If a driver, who has minimal or no auto insurance coverage, injures you and you have adequate UM/UIM coverage, then your insurance company will pay for your expenses not covered by the other driver’s policy. UM/UIM coverage will also protect you if you are the victim of a hit-and-run and the driver is never caught.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage are required by law in Virginia and about 1/3 of the states. In those states where UM and UIM are not required, you have to request coverage. Here’s the problem: Most people don’t know to ask or they think it will be too expensive (which it isn’t). This can have devastating consequences.
Even if you have health insurance, you still need UM/UIM coverage. Health insurance will only pay for your medical bills (and it may not pay all of them due to deductibles, co-pays, out of network bills, or bills deemed by them to be unnecessary). Health insurance will also not pay for lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, permanent impairment or other incidental damages. If you lose your health insurance, future medical expenses will not be covered. UM/UIM coverage can provide coverage for all of your losses.
Here are the steps our firm recommends to our clients, family and friends to ensure that the right coverage is in place to protect them and their families:
- Raise the amount of Liability coverage on your current auto insurance policy to the maximum that the insurance company will sell you. We recommend $1,000,000 in coverage.
- Confirm that there are both UM (uninsured) and UIM (underinsured) “endorsements” on your policy. If not, add them.
- Set your UM/UIM coverage to be the same as your Liability coverage. So, if you have $1,000,000 in Liability coverage, get $1,000,000 in UM/UIM coverage.
- Don’t be fooled into thinking that your “umbrella” policy will provide UM/UIM coverage. Umbrella policies only cover accidents or injuries that you cause others — not the injuries that others, who may have no or minimal insurance, cause you.
Here’s the bottom line: Increasing your insurance policy limits to $1,000,000 and having an equal amount of UM/UIM coverage won’t cost a lot, but both are critical to protecting you and your loved ones.
Protect Your Family. Contact Weiner, Spivey & Miller
Weiner, Spivey & Miller, PLC has served Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. for over 20 years. Our attorneys have more than 190 years of combined experience in successfully advocating for our clients who have been injured or killed due to the negligence of others.