If you’re looking to maximize your auto insurance in order to ensure you and your family are protected no matter the type of car accident you may one day be involved in, no type of coverage can quite protect you like UM/UIM coverage. What is UM/UIM coverage and how does it work? Let’s find out. Here are 5 things you need to know about UM/UIM insurance coverage and how it protects you:
- What is UM/UIM Coverage?
Under Kentucky Law all Owners of a Motor Vehicle must carry a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 in Bodily Liability Coverage. However, the two most important types of coverage are what is called UM and UIM coverage. Bodily Liability Coverage covers the other person if you cause an accident. Bodily Liability Coverage covers the other person if you cause an accident. UM/UIM covers you and your injuries if the other party is at fault.
UM coverage is short for Uninsured Motorist coverage. With UM Coverage you will be protected in the event of an accident with another motorist who is uninsured. This coverage will protect you and allow you to recover for damages caused by a collision with an uninsured motorist. The recovery will be from your own insurance company and will cover you for injuries UP TO THE LIMIT OF COVERAGE PURCHASED. This coverage is available from all insurance carriers and you will see the cost of adding the maximum policy limits of UM coverage to your current policy is not unreasonably expensive, especially when you consider the benefits it can have for you and your family in the event of a collision.
What if the other motorist is insured by does not have enough coverage to sufficiently cover my damages? This is where UIM coverage will protect you. UIM stands for Under Insured Motorist Coverage. With UIM Coverage you will be protected in the event of an accident with another motorist who does not have adequate coverage to provide sufficient funds for the damages caused. When you have UIM Coverage you will be protected from other motorists who only carry the minimum required policy limits in Kentucky.
If you are involved in an accident and injured more severely than the limits of the other party’s insurance, you will be covered. Again, the recovery of this policy will be from your own insurer and will only be available UP TO THE LIMIT YOU PURCHASE.
- UM/UIM Coverage is The Most Important Coverage Available in the State of Kentucky
It’s imperative that you understand the UM/UIM coverage is the MOST IMPORTANT coverage available in the state of Kentucky to protect you and your family!
Insurance companies must offer UM/UIM Coverage. However, they normally do not tell you how important it actually is. Since the insurance agent isn’t telling you the reason why you need UM/UIM coverage, most people think they are just trying to sell you something you don’t need. THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
When considering how much UM/UIM coverage to purchase, you should always look at your family’s assets to start. For example, if you are single you will probably not need as much coverage as you would if you were married and had children. This is the thought process you must go through and this is what you need to discuss with your agent when you are considering how much UM/UIM coverage you need.
You must choose to opt out of UM/UIM coverage in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. THIS IS THE LAW OF KENTUCKY. PLEASE DO NOT EVER SIGN ANYTHING OPTING OUT OF UM/UIM COVERAGE! If you find yourself in the position of having already done so, contact your agent and tell him or her that you want UM/UIM coverage. It is not impossible to add the coverage to your existing policy. Once again, it is important to note that UM/UIM coverage is not unreasonably priced and is available through ANY insurance carrier and comes in various policy limits.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage Will Protect You in the Event of A ‘Hit and Run’
One of the most important aspects of Uninsured Motorist coverage or UM is if you are the driver, your UM coverage will protect you as long as there was “physical contact” with the other car. This is one of the “secret” benefits of UM coverage. It is now a Felony to Leave the Scene of an Injury accident in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. (See DarylTDixonLaw.com for article). This is referred to as a “Hit and Run”. Once you have proper UM insurance on your policy you can rest easy knowing that you will be protected in the event this ever happened to you or a family member.
Of course, UM coverage is designed to cover you if you are injured by a driver that has no insurance. In addition, it is also a great comfort to know that if you are injured in a “Hit and Run”, where the other driver in the accident cannot be determined or found, then your injuries will be covered. Your damages will only be covered up to the policy limits that you purchase. UM coverage is worth the money and is a very good way to protect yourself if the unthinkable should happen to you or your family member.
There are a lot of people out there on the roads and not all of them have insurance. This particular type of coverage will allow you to drive with peace of mind knowing that if an accident should ever occur with an Uninsured Motorist, you will be protected.
- How Much Does it Cost?
Comparing quotes is actually very simple. For example, the Commonwealth of Kentucky offers free online and instant quotes through the Kentucky Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing, the Division of Driver Licensing, or the Kentucky Department of Insurance. Other states have similar websites where you can go and compare quotes online that tailor to your specific location. Remember to get plenty of UM/UIM!
I have conducted my own research to help you understand just how little it costs to buy more coverage. Insurance companies will factor in your driving history when they are preparing your quote. They look at things such as traffic tickets, past wrecks, age and other factors in addition to the specific coverages that you need to come up with your quote. However, you will get some idea of how Insurance companies prepare these quotes.
An insurance company’s quote is not a bill but rather an offer that you may accept by paying the premium. In the quote, the Insurance Company will itemize the costs for the coverages that make up your policy. This makes it easy to analyze your policy and add the coverages that will protect you.
For example, your quote may itemize the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage costs $25.000 and the towing is $3.00 per policy period. If your quote does not contain these itemized coverage figures, ask your agent to break them down for you. It is important to note that most Insurance Companies will only allow you to buy as much UM/UIM Coverage as you have Liability Coverage.
I began my research with the Grange Company and my quote reveals some very interesting figures. First, my Itemized Bodily Injury Liability Quote was $106.00 for $250,000/$500,00 in coverage. That figure only increased $22.00 for coverage of $500,00/$1,000,000, which is the maximum coverage available to me.
My itemized UM/UIM quote was $59.99 or $250,000/$500,000 in coverage and only increased $7.00 for coverage of $500,000/$500,000, which is the maximum amount of coverage available to me. My Overall Quote for the maximum coverage available to me only increased some $33.00 and I almost doubled my coverage. Furthermore, I added $10,000 in PIP coverage. Again, this is for a Six Month Policy Period.
I conducted further research with four different Major Insurance Companies. I wanted to see the difference in my overall Policy Premium Quotes between the minimum coverage and the maximum coverage. All of these quotes contain the difference in Policy Premiums between the Minimum Bodily Injury Liability and UM/UIM Coverage and the Maximum Bodily Injury Liability and UM/UIM Coverage.
- Now That You Know It’s the Most Important Coverage- Go Get Some!
Now that you know that UM/UIM coverage is the most important coverage in the state of Kentucky, go out and get as much as you can. Do not settle when the insurance agent balks at your inquiry to get as much as you can. The agent will likely try to sell you an Umbrella Policy instead. BE FIRM. Ask that they give you quotes on UM/UIM Coverage. Then work your way back down through the policy limits until you find what is appropriate for you and your family. Remember this is a consideration of you personal situation so don’t be afraid to ask for help in your evaluation, but also don’t be pressured to take less than you need.
Finally, if you need help, get in touch. I’m Daryl T. Dixon, Paducah, KY car accident lawyer, and I’m committed to helping Kentucky families stay safe while behind the wheel and recover from accidents they had no control over. I’m available to answer any questions you may have about auto insurance in our state or a possible claim you may have.