You are driving to work one day. Another driver runs a red light and hits your car broadside. Your car is totaled, and you are injured. What happens next?
The ideal scenario is that the other driver has liability coverage, which would pay for your medical care, lost wages, and emotional expenses related to your injury. Unfortunately, 14 percent of the drivers in Missouri lacks any liability coverage, even though the law requires it. Many other drivers have low amounts of liability coverage that may not be enough to pay for all your injuries. In this case, you could be stuck paying for your own medical costs, even though the accident wasn’t your fault. That could be a major financial setback, especially if you aren’t able to work while recovering from your injuries. However, this scenario can be avoided.
What Are UI and UIM?
UI stands for uninsured motorist, and UIM stands for underinsured motorist. You can buy UI coverage and UIM coverage as part of your auto insurance policy; in fact, at least some UI coverage is required in Missouri. If you have UI and UIM coverage, then your auto insurance will pay you if you are in an accident caused by a motorist who lacks sufficient liability coverage, up to the limits of your policy.
The Importance of Carrying Sufficient UI and UIM
Consider this scenario. You are driving with your family and are hit by another car. All of your injuries, including lost wages and emotional trauma, come to $500,000. The other driver has no insurance. You could be stuck with the bill. If you have UI or UIM, however, your insurance will pay up to the limits of your policy. Hopefully, your policy has at least a $500,000 limit. If it does, then all your expenses are covered. If your policy has a lower limit, for example, $50,000, then you would still be responsible for the additional $450,000.
Remember, at least 14 percent of Missouri drivers have no liability coverage; even more have insufficient liability coverage. The number of motorists without liability coverage is likely to increase. Economic uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue for some time. While insurers have implemented refunds and deferred payments in the short-term, over the long term, customers will need to pay full price, including back payments. If they can’t pay, they may cancel or lower their liability coverage. When they do that, they will have no coverage for injuries they cause you and your passengers.
Working with an independent insurance agent can help you obtain UI, UIM, and other types of insurance at a competitive price. Awesome Insurance Consultants can help answer your questions about many types of insurance, including auto, motorcycle, recreational or all-terrain vehicle, life, home, boat, condo, and business owners. If you live in the Kansas City metropolitan area, contact us by phone at 816-775-2555 or by email at email@example.com today for a free consultation.