Why You Should Always Get Uninsured Motorist Coverage
When you get car insurance, you may be considering savings. That is quite understandable given today’s economy, and the rising prices of goods and cars. You may ask your insurance agent for “the minimum,” to save money but by doing that, you could be missing out on a vital part of insurance coverage for your car: Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage.
Problems With Uninsured Drivers
All over South Florida roads, there are drivers that are driving without insurance. What happens if one of them causes an accident, which injures you? Yes, you can sue them individually, but that is a time-consuming process, and it is likely if they didn’t have money for insurance, they wouldn’t have money to satisfy any personal injury verdict entered against them.
What about so-called “phantom drivers?” These are drivers that may cause accidents but then drive away from the scene of the accident. They may be drivers that weren’t even in the accident, but caused it, such as a driver that swerves in front of traffic, causing cars to collide, but then drives off, or a car that drops a large object in the road, but drives away. These drivers will likely never be found, but they are liable for causing the accident.
Enter Your UM Coverage
What do you do? You can’t sue a driver that can never be identified or located.
The answer is your UM insurance, assuming you took out a UM policy. Your UM will “stand in the shoes” of the driver that can’t be located. It will pretend it is the unknown driver, or the driver who fled the scene of the accident and pay you for your injuries, the way that the unknown driver would have had to.
Your UM coverage will also pay you even if the other driver was insured, if the other driver didn’t have enough insurance. So, let’s say that you sustain a very serious injury, which is reasonably valued at $100,000. However, the driver that caused the accident only had $10,000 in insurance.
You can sue the other driver for the $10,000, but for the balance of your damages, the remaining $90,000, your UM carrier will pay that amount to “make up” what the other driver’s insurance did not cover.
How the Process Works
When you ask your UM insurance company to pay you, your UM is essentially “acting” like the other side—the unknown driver or the underinsured driver. That means that you will actually sue your own insurance company alongside the Defendant. Despite being your own insurance company, your UM carrier is adversarial to you. This may seem distasteful but it is normal.
Many people just reject UM coverage, without realizing what they are doing. But UM coverage can help you in those circumstances where there is no, or insufficient insurance coverage.
We can help you handle your insurance after a car accident. Call the Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at Rosen Injury Law today.