Should you buy Underinsured Motorist Coverage ("UIM")?
Everyone should carry Underinsured Motorist Coverage ("UIM"). This is extra insurance on your own auto policy that will cover you and your family if the insurance policy for the driver that caused an accident is too small to cover all the damages.
I have seen so many catastrophic injury cases where a careless driver that caused a crash only carried a Missouri or Illinois state minimum $25,000 auto policy. In these cases, despite severe injury or death, the most a victim or a victim's family could recover was $25,000 because that was the limit of the negligent driver's insurance policy.
Sure, you could sue the negligent "underinsured motorist" and win a huge judgment and then try to garnish that negligent driver's wages or go after personal assets like his/her house or car. However, this is often a fruitless pursuit where collection efforts usually prove frustrating, costly, time consuming and yield minimal, if not zero, monetary results.
This is why I advise you purchase Underinsured Motorist Coverage ("UIM") on your auto policy to protect yourself and your family in the event of an auto accident that results in significant injury and lost income. If you have UIM coverage, your insurance company will step in to cover your damages if they exceed a negligent driver's insurance limits.
For example, if someone crashes into you and they only have a “minimum policy,” the most their auto insurance will pay out in damages is $25,000. However, if you have your own UIM policy of $25,000, you will have an extra $25,000 in coverage under your own policy on top of the negligent driver's underlying $25,000 policy limits.
But be careful, insurance agents often throw around terms like "full coverage" to sell insurance policies. "Full coverage" can mean many different things and you may think you are getting a great deal on an auto policy and that you are fully covered when, in fact, you are not.
Without UIM coverage you are rolling the dice. If a careless "underinsured" driver crashes into you and causes you or your family harm, they likely will not have enough insurance to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages. Don't take that chance. Don't put your fate in the hands of someone else's insurance policy. Take control and make sure you have enough insurance of your own to cover yourself. Ideally, you should purchase at least a $100,000 UIM policy but preferably $250,000 or more.
If you have questions about how UIM policies work, call us for free at 314-300-8380.