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Buying Uninsured Motorist Insurance: What You Should Know

Insurance policies can be complicated. It involves reading insurance documents and understanding a lot of industry jargon. When you are looking at your car insurance policy, there are terms and items that you need to know to make sure that you have the adequate coverage. Having the appropriate insurance coverage will help you increase your comfort level when you are on the road. The terms that often confuse people are uninsured motorist coverage compared to underinsured motorist coverage.

To explain, these cover injuries to the driver, passengers and property damage following a car accident caused by a driver who does not have sufficient liability insurance to cover the at fault damages and injuries.

Uninsured motorist coverage should pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral costs, lost wages, and automobile damage (depending on the state).

How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Do I Need for My Family?

The first thing that you have to understand about getting uninsured motorist coverage is that it is an added coverage option and will increase your insurance premium. However, it is relatively inexpensive. The cost will vary by state and insurance provider. The minimum amount of uninsured motorist insurance you should carry is typically $25,000 for each person and $50,000 for each accident, but varies.

If your state does not require it and you opt to get coverage because you want it, your coverage should depend on how much you can afford. It would also be wise to take into consideration the percentage of uninsured drivers where you live. This is because of the increased likelihood of you getting into an accident with an uninsured driver. Note that about one in eight drivers on the road do not have insurance based on the study done by the Insurance Research Council, Florida having the most at 26.7%. By comparison, the percentage of uninsured motorists in Illinois is 13.7%.

For additional savings, you may opt-out of getting uninsured motorist coverage for your family, but only if you have health insurance that would be enough to cover your expenses. If your health insurance has a high deductible, then getting uninsured motorist coverage will likely make more sense.

You have to note that the higher coverage you choose, the higher the premium that you will have to shoulder. Choosing lower coverage limits means a lower premium, but it also means that you may end up being monetarily responsible to cover your medical bills.

Paying for insurance can be a hassle, but it is far better than ending up with insufficient coverage that would cause financial troubles after an accident. As such, it is highly advisable to secure sufficient uninsured motorist coverage.

Can Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover My Family for Hit-and-Run Accidents?

When a driver leaves the scene of the accident without communicating with the victim, it is considered a hit-and-run. In such cases, some states allow the victims to make a claim using their uninsured motorist coverage. Generally, a hit and run will fall under these two types of motorist coverage:

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: This coverage pays for your medical costs should you be a victim of a hit and run.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: This coverage would cover the cost of repairs for car or property damages resulting from a hit and run.

If you end up being a victim of a hit and run accident, make sure that you follow these steps to strengthen your case when it is time to file a claim:

  • Do not chase the offending party or driver. Make sure to pull your car over to a safe place and check if you or any of your passengers sustained any injuries.
  • Try to get details of the vehicle that hit you or your property. This includes license plate number, car make, color, and model.
  • List the exact time and date of the accident and get an eyewitness account.
  • Report the accident to the police.
  • Take pictures of the car, the damages sustained, your injuries and the scene of the accident.
  • Inform your insurance company immediately.

Take time to review your insurance coverage and determine if it would be worthwhile for you to increase your uninsured motorist coverage. You have to keep in mind that accidents choose no time and place, so the best that you can do is be prepared with adequate insurance coverage.

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