What is uninsured motorists coverage?

Uninsured motorists coverageUninsured motorists coverage is very important. It protects you and your family if an a driver who does not have insurance injures you in an accident. Although the law requires all drivers to have insurance, a significant percentage don’t. In Ohio, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles asks you to confirm that you have insurance when you renew your driver’s license, but does not verify. As a result, lots of drivers are on the road without insurance.

Underinsured motorists coverage is similar, except it applies when the person who caused the accident has insurance, but not enough to pay for all of your damages.

In Ohio, it is legal drive with as little as $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident in liability insurance. A single hospitalization of only a few days will use up such a small policy, potentially leaving you to pay the rest. Uninsured motorists coverage can help manage that serious risk.

Insurance agents sometimes tell people that UM coverage is not required by law and that they can save a little money by not buying it. If your agent tells you that, get another agent! UM coverage is generally less expensive than property damage coverage, and it protects so much more — the health of you and your family.

Underinsured and Uninsured motorists coverage are usually provided together, but ask you agent to make sure you have both. (I will refer to them both as Uninsured motorists coverage or UM coverage, to make things easier.)

If you insurance company has to pay a claim, it can sue the uninsured driver to get its money back. The legal term for that is “subrogation”. So, the uninsured driver does not get ‘off the hook’, but uninsured motorists coverage shifts the burden of getting money from the uninsured driver from you to your insurance company.

Uninsured motorists insurance coverage is one of the best reasons to have car insurance. Make sure you have it and that you have enough. It can save your financial life.