Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Explained
FAQs about UM coverage, UIM coverage and why this valuable insurance protects you in a crash with an uninsured driver
Any auto insurance policy sold in Michigan today without uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is not enough to protect you and your family.
Due to the struggling economy, there is a good chance that when a serious car or truck accident occurs in Michigan, one of the drivers will be uninsured. That’s why the No-Fault insurance lawyers of Michigan Auto Law always tell our clients that uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) provide a valuable source of legal recovery when someone is injured in a car accident by another driver who is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance. Any auto insurance policy sold in Michigan today without UM coverage and UIM coverage is not enough to protect you and your family. We recommend that every person obtain this extremely important and inexpensive coverage. Please call (800) 777-0028 if you have been in an auto accident and need help obtaining your No-Fault insurance benefits.
What is uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) provides a valuable source of legal recovery after a car accident, when someone is injured by another driver who is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance. Many insurance companies do not inform their policy holders of these important options.
With UM coverage and UIM coverage, an injured person turns to his or her own auto insurance company to pay what would have been recovered from the at-fault driver, had that person been properly covered. In other words, the auto insurance company of the insured driver “steps into the shoes” of the uninsured driver and pays all personal injury damages that the uninsured driver is responsible for. To be compensated under a UM or UIM policy, an injured driver must show that the other driver was uninsured and was legally at-fault in causing the automobile accident.
Why is uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage so important?
Due to the high risk of encountering an uninsured or underinsured driver in a serious accident, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage is vital. Studies show that more than 50 percent of Detroit drivers do not have mandatory No-Fault auto insurance coverage. Michigan law requires every automobile owner to carry at least a $250,000 minimum in liability insurance.
However, some people only pay the minimum insurance premium to renew their license plate each year, and let their auto insurance lapse. Without UM coverage or UIM coverage, a driver or passengers injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist will have no source of legal recovery, other than filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for his personal assets. Our lawyers have found that most people do not have sufficient personal net worth to compensate a person that they have injured.
How much UM coverage and UIM coverage is needed on my auto insurance policy?
Our No-Fault insurance lawyers recommend that you carry at least $500,000 per person and $1,000,000 per accident for both uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) policies. Without UM coverage and UIM coverage, a driver who is injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver would have no source of personal injury recovery — other than filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for his or her personal assets.
Remember, the risk of encountering an uninsured driver in Michigan is fairly high. When an injury results from such an encounter, the consequences of not carrying UM coverage and UIM coverage are severe.
More advice on uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage
What else should I do?
Read your insurance policy
The most important advice that any experienced Michigan lawyer can give is to read your insurance policy. You must ask your insurance agent, if, for example, family members who do not live with a vehicle’s owner will still be covered under an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy, even if they have been given permission to drive a car that’s covered by uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist coverage.
Be aware of the insurance policy’s notice requirements
Each car insurance policy has time frames which an auto insurance company must be informed of after a car accident. For instance, some policies must be informed of a car accident within 30 days of the date the accident occurred. If notice is late, an auto insurance company can completely deny contractual benefits such as uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage.
Avoid Progressive Insurance Company
Please avoid Progressive and any other auto insurance company that sells UM coverage and/or UIM coverage with insurance policies that allow them to “set-off” or deduct from a UM and/or UIM policy limit payments those amounts that the No-Fault auto insurance company is required to make by law for medical bills and wage loss. It’s also best to avoid insurance companies that have policies allowing them to deduct other benefits from uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist coverage, such as workers compensation, after an accident.
Car Accident Lawyers of Michigan Auto Law Can Help You
For more than 50 years and three generations, the car accident lawyers of Michigan Auto Law have specialized in serious car and truck accident injury cases and automobile insurance No-Fault litigation. For more information, please call (888) 995-8441 if you have been in an auto accident and need help obtaining your No-Fault insurance benefits. Or fill out our consultation form for a free case evaluation.