When trying to choose among the multitude of insurance policies available today, many people may get so frustrated that they simply tell their agent "Just give me a standard bare-bones policy." The problem with this is that a basic policy often covers just the minimums required by law. Even though most people add collision and comprehensive insurance to cover themselves more fully, there are still a number of situations in which the more basic insurance coverage just won't work. For this reason, the definition of essential auto insurance coverage is starting to change. Uninsured and underinsured insurance may still be slightly lesser-known coverages, but you'll soon consider them to be the new essentials for your car insurance policy.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Most people feel fairly secure in the knowledge that all states (with the lone exception of New Hampshire) require drivers to have liability insurance coverage. Normally, this means that if another person causes damage to you or your vehicle, their insurance will cover it.
Unfortunately, the insurance laws are not fully adhered to. In a 2014 study from the Insurance Research Council, it was revealed that about one out of every eight drivers didn't have insurance during the year of 2012. This is an excellent reason to carry uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance policy. Even if you're in an accident caused by a driver with no coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay for the damages.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This type of coverage applies in situations where the at-fault driver has insurance, but the coverage is simply not sufficient to pay for the damages. Many people purchase only the lowest amount of coverage that they can legally purchase. Some states have insurance requirements as low as $10,000 in bodily injury liability coverage. In a state where the minimum is that low, the damages generated from one extended hospital stay would far outstrip the $10,000 limit.
To cover this deficit, underinsured motorist coverage is the ideal solution. If you are injured in an accident caused by a driver with insufficient coverage, that coverage would pay for your damages up to that driver's policy maximum. After that point, your underinsured motorist coverage would kick in to pay the rest.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are often combined into a single insurance product that is then added to the collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance that you already have in place. The cost of this insurance is often quite reasonable, and just one accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver will prove its worth. Call your auto insurance agent to discuss adding this kind of coverage to your policy today! Contact a business, such as the Edwards Insurance Agency, for more information.