By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
The Insurance Research Council (IRC) reports that an average of one in every seven motorists in the United States is currently on the road without car insurance. What this means for you is that if you get into an accident with one of these uninsured motorists, you may be responsible to pay for damages that insurance would otherwise cover.
Although it may be frustrating to even think about drivers who are on the road without car insurance, or with the state’s minimum insurance requirements, it should also cause you to seriously think about how you can protect yourself and your loved ones. One of the best ways to do this is to include as part of your own insurance policy is to carry Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage.
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Most insurance agents automatically provide uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage that is there to protect you if you are involved in an accident with a vehicle without insurance. Underinsured coverage is coverage to protect you if you are involved in an accident with a vehicle with insurance policy limits less than your own personal liability limits.
Underinsured motorist coverage may seem like an unnecessary additional expense, but it’s not.
Think about this: you get into a car accident. The driver of that car who caused the collision has minimal insurance policy limits. You are taken to the hospital with injuries. You have to stay a few days for some broken bones to be set. You are discharged and can’t work for a few weeks. Once the casts are removed, you will need physical therapy.
Now, I’m guessing that the at fault driver’s insurance is eaten up by the hospital stay. Who is going to pay for the loss of wages while you can’t work? Who is going to pay for the physical therapy?
Maybe you have some personal insurance that might cover these expenses. Maybe not. Why chance it? Also, keep in mind this a coverage that applies to all occupants of the car. Maybe instead of you suffering the injuries, it’s a neighbor or friend that is injured while riding in your car. Maybe they don’t have other insurance to cover their loss of wages or physical therapy.
You never expect to get into a serious car accident. But when you do, it can cause serious physical and emotional pain. Preparing for the unexpected can help offset some of the pain and trauma.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is an important part of your insurance policy and can provide you with the ease of mind knowing that in the event of an accident involving an individual who is not insured or carrying minimal insurance coverage, you will have a policy that will provide you with the monetary protection that you need.