How much UM Coverage do you Have?
A car accident caused by a hit and run driver caused injuries to the driver of this car, but he did not have adequate UM coverage. What does that mean?
When buying car insurance most people focus on the limits of liability coverage and don't pay much attention to the Uninsured Motorist Coverage. That is because the law requires all cars to carry at a minimum liability insurance to protect others against the risk of loss caused by a car accident. The law does not require Uninsured Motorist coverage, which is intended to protect the driver and occupants of a car against injury by another driver that is uninsured, or has inadequate insurance coverage.
Ask yourself, "How much UM coverage do I have?" Do you know the answer? If not, you better check your policy to be sure that (1) you have the UM coverage, and (2) the limits of coverage are high. Why would you want a high limit of coverage on the UM portion of the car policy? Well, that is the part that protects you and your family if injuries are caused by an uninsured driver, hit and run driver, or driver with inadequate coverage.
Most insurance companies will not allow you to purchase more UM coverage that liability coverage, so if you buy 30,000/60,000 liability coverage (30,000 per person/60.000 per accident), then you would not be able to purchase more UM coverage than that.
A client was seriously hurt recently when a hit and run driver crashed into him, causing very serious injuries to his head and back. Our early estimation was that the case had a value in excess of $200,000 based on similar cases. Unfortunately for the client, the limit of his UM coverage was only $30,000. Unless his company was guilty of bad faith refusal to settle for that limit, there would be very little chance of ever recovering more than that.
The lesson: (1) Check on your UM coverage today (2) consider increasing the coverage substantially.
If you have any questions about this, talk to your auto insurance agent. While you are at it, check on your Med Pay coverage and consider raising that limit also.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Clifford A. Blackman, Esq., Blackman Legal Group
Clifford A. Blackman is an attorney with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He founded the Blackman Legal Group in 1976 and has achieved an excellent reputation as a trial lawyer in California. His expertise is in the area of personal injury and wrongful death.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.