The term uninsured motorist can be deceiving. A lot of people may be skipping this coverage without understanding what it actually covers. To fully protect yourself, uninsured motorist is both important.
Uninsured motorist comes into play when you, the insured driver, are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. The uninsured driver will be held personally liable, however the expenses the uninsured driver cannot cover would be covered by uninsured motorist coverage up to the listed limit.
What does uninsured motorist cover?
- Injuries: Medical expenses cost a lot of money. Doctors, x-rays, surgeries, and recovery add up quickly and someone needs to pay for it. Uninsured motorist will make sure you have coverage even when the at-fault driver does not. Exception: In the state of Michigan, all insured driver’s medical expenses not covered by primary health insurance is covered by the insured’s own auto policy without a cap on payout.
- Loss of Wages: Injuries often cause absence from work. Even though the person who caused the damage did not have insurance, you still deserve compensation for time missed from work. Many work short time disability plans do not cover 100% of your pay. Uninsured motorist can fill in the gap.
- Pain and Suffering: Severe injuries from a negligent driver also deserve compensation. Severe injuries can change the course of your entire life. In cases of severe negligence the uninsured driver is held responsible, however what they cannot cover your uninsured motorist will cover.
Who is classified as an uninsured driver?
- A driver without insurance. Car insurance is mandatory in most states. Driving without insurance is against the law and falls under the uninsured motorist clause.
- A driver who hits and runs. Not knowing who caused the damage in an accident leaves no one to hold accountable, essentially leaving uninsured motorist holding the bag.
- An insured driver with lower liability limits than that of the injured party. An injured party is allowed to seek coverage equivalent to their own. If the at fault party has lower limits of liability than the injured, uninsured motorist can fill in the gap.
Collecting Uninsured Motorist
Getting money from your uninsured motorist coverage can be a lengthy process. Most states require suing the driver for the damages whether it is an actual person or an unknown hit and run driver. When the damages go unpaid because no coverage is available, then you are able to collect the money from your insurance carrier provided by the uninsured motorist coverage.
So when you purchase uninsured motorist, you are not protecting the uninsured driver. You are protecting yourself against an uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist is commonly misunderstood. It could potentially get you thousands of dollars to cover medical expenses, loss wages, and pain and suffering. Money you should rightfully still get when hit by a driver who does not have insurance to cover your damages. Unfortunately, with so many uninsured drivers on the road, it is vital insured drivers protect themselves against potential loss from one of them.