Let’s say you’re driving down the highway outside Madison. A car swerves in front of you and causes a crash.
Both of your cars end up on the side of the road. Your spouse was in the passenger’s seat. She has a sprained neck and needs medical assistance.
You exit your vehicle and speak to the other driver. The accident was their fault as they’ve admitted. They’ve also admitted they have no auto insurance.
What are you supposed to do now? Who will pay for your spouse’s medical bills?
Unfortunately, situations like this happen in and around Madison all too often. About one in seven drivers on the road in the United States is driving without auto insurance.
There are also drivers driving with only the minimum required amount of insurance. This means they might not be able to cover all of your medical bills if they caused a serious accident and critical injuries.
It is illegal to drive without insurance. But in situations like these, what matters is that you are at risk of not receiving what you deserve for your injuries. When an accident was not your fault, you should have your medical bills and lost wages paid for.
To protect yourself against these types of situations, it is important to have what’s called UM/UIM coverage.
UM and UIM Coverage Explained
UM stands for uninsured motorist, and UIM stands for underinsured motorist.
UM coverage protects you if you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. UIM coverage protects you if you are injured in an accident caused by an underinsured motorist. These are useful types of insurance to have.
Underinsured drivers have the least required amount of auto insurance. In this case, your medical bills and related expenses may be too expensive. They may be greater than the amount of liability coverage the at-fault motorist has. UIM coverage may be able to help make up the difference.
UM and UIM Coverage Only Takes Care of Bodily Injuries
Keep in mind that UM coverage and UIM coverage only covers personal injuries to you. It might also cover your passengers or anyone driving your car with your permission.
It is important to look closely at your insurance policy to understand who exactly is covered. Keep a copy of your policy in a safe place at home. You can also talk to your agent if you have questions.
When we say that only personal injuries are covered, we are noting that property damage is not covered. This means that if an uninsured driver damages your car, your UM coverage won’t cover these costs.
In some states, you can buy uninsured motorist property damage coverage or UMPD. In Wisconsin, uninsured motorist property damage coverage is not required. It is not even offered or available to drivers.
If an uninsured driver damages your vehicle, you do have options. You still may be able to use your own insurance policy to pay for the damages.
This is where you need collision coverage. Your collision coverage will cover damages caused by uninsured drivers. Keep in mind there is a deductible.
If you don’t have collision coverage, you can usually sue the driver for property damage costs. Your insurance company may also choose to sue an uninsured driver.
Have Questions About UM and UIM Coverage?
We understand that UM and UIM coverage can be confusing. Our friendly agents at Homewood Insurance Agency are happy to answer your questions. Call or stop into our office today to learn more.