Higher Limits Needed for Uninsured motorists

From time to time, Jim and I observe trends in the law that may impact the rights of injury victims. The need for higher limits for uninsured motorist coverage is becoming greater than it ever has been before.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage? Uninsured motorist coverage covers you, your passengers and your family if injured by the carelessness of a person who does not have insurance coverage on their vehicle. Uninsured motorist coverage also covers you, your passengers and your family if injured by a person who has insurance, but the coverage limits are not enough to cover the cost of your injuries. For example, if you are injured by the careless acts of another driver who only has minimum limits coverage of $25,000.00 and you have injuries valued at $100,000.00, you and your family are on the hook for the remaining $75,000. However, if you have $100,000 in uninsured motorist limits, your uninsured motorist coverage will pick up the cost of the additional $75,000.00.

Why is High-Limits Uninsured Motorist Coverage Important? Jim and I are noticing areas of concern with regard to uninsured motorist coverage. First, we are seeing a sharp increase in the number of clients coming to us who have been injured by the negligent acts of undocumented aliens driving a vehicle without a license or insurance. No matter your political affiliation, most agree that our immigration laws in this country need some fixing. Most states will not issue a driver's license to an undocumented alien. Therefore, it is almost impossible for an undocumented alien to obtain insurance on his or her vehicle. Here is a common example:

The Smith family is driving home from shopping on a Saturday afternoon. Suddenly a truck runs a red-light and strikes their vehicle, injuring every member of the Smith family. The truck was driven by an undocumented alien who did not have a driver's license or insurance. Unless the Smith family has high-limits uninsured motorist coverage, there may be no automobile insurance coverage for their injuries. Pursuing a claim against the undocumented alien's personal assets would be of little value since he was deported to his home country following the accident.

We are also seeing the high-risk automobile insurance companies "pushing" minimum limits coverage in advertising. These "cheap insurance" or minimum coverage policies are often advertised as an affordable way to get automobile insurance fast. This leads to drivers who have insurance coverage, but not enough to cover you and your family if you are injured by one of these drivers in a car accident.

How do I Prevent Being Left with No Coverage? The best way to avoid being left with inadequate coverage for you, your passengers and your family if injured is to contact your insurance agency immediately and ask that the limits of your uninsured motorist coverage be increased. The cost of additional coverage is usually small.

As always, if you have more specific questions about uninsured motorist coverage, do not hesitate to contact us any time.

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