Don’t forget about your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage!
One of the saddest things I see as a lawyer helping people who have been badly injured by another person’s negligent driving is when the negligent driver does not have enough insurance or no insurance at all. The injured person receives no or very little compensation for what are often serious, life-altering injuries.
You can do a lot to protect yourself and your family from having this happen to you. Auto insurance companies offer what is called uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is there in the event you are hurt in an auto accident where the other driver has no insurance. It even covers hit and run situations where the other driver cannot be identified. You would make a claim on your own insurance policy and your insurance company would pay the claim.
Underinsured coverage is there for cases where the other driver does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries. Your insurance company will pay the difference between your damages and the other person’s insurance, up to the limits of your policy. So if the other driver has a $25,000 liability policy and you have a $100,000 underinsured motorist policy, your insurance company will pay you $75,000, so long as your damages justify the payout.
Two realities should motivate you to maximize your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. First, uninsured and underinsured drivers tend to be some of the worst drivers on the road. That is not to say that all drivers with the minimum limits of insurance are bad drivers, but I have noticed I higher percentage of bad drivers from that group. If a driver is not responsible enough to get insurance, what makes you think they are responsible enough to drive safely? Second, Missouri only requires drivers to have $25,000 in liability insurance and uninsured motorist insurance. That results in many people buying the bare minimum, which makes having a higher underinsured motorist policy important for you.
You should talk to your insurance agent about whether you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Buy as much as your budget allows. Someday, it could make a big difference.
If you have been injured in an accident by an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist, call the St Joseph, MO Insurance Lawyers at Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott for a free consultation. Our number is (816) 364-6677.