Having auto or motorcycle insurance is, of course, required before you can operate your motor vehicle. Every driver in the United States is aware of this requirement, as it is a fundamental issue discussed at multiple points before gaining your driver’s license. There is no excuse for not having state-required limits of insurance, particularly no excuse for operating your vehicle without a policy in effect.
But in many accidents, there are drivers who do not carry the insurance their state requires. When these accidents occur, injured victims still may collect damages through other insurance coverage. Your personal injury and motorcycle accident attorney can help you understand how much you are owed after your auto accident. He or she can also help you gain the compensation you deserve.
Why Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is Important
Under Arizona state law, drivers are required to carry insurance for their motor vehicle. But many drivers do not have adequate coverage for an accident. This means they fall into a category known as “underinsured.” When you are in an accident with an underinsured driver, you are at risk.
To help avoid the vulnerability of being in an accident with an underinsured driver, you need Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Also known as UIM coverage, this is an important addition to your auto insurance policy that can make a huge difference in how much compensation you can collect after a motor vehicle collision.
Arizona state law requires everyone to have liability coverage. But your liability insurance does not protect you from any injuries you may sustain in your auto accident. This part of a policy only protects other people from injuries caused by your accident.
Underinsured motorist coverage protects you and your family, should an accident occur. UIM coverage is applied when someone with an inadequate insurance policy injures you.
These types of accidents occur more frequently than you may expect. As an example, one driver suffered a severe brain injury in his auto accident. The driver only had a state minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage. The brain injured victim had medical bills and other damages costing millions of dollars. But he only gained the full $15,000 from the negligent driver’s policy. With UIM coverage, he would have gained an additional amount to make up some of the difference.
What about uninsured drivers?
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is similar to under-insured motorist coverage. This type of insurance applies when someone else injures you but they do not have insurance. Unfortunately, one in ten Arizona drivers are estimated to not have auto insurance, even though it is required by law for operation of a motor vehicle.
UIM and UM coverages are both fairly inexpensive, particularly when you consider the benefits of having this insurance when you need it. Under Arizona state law, insurance companies are required to offer this coverage to policyholders.
Having this awareness of what UIM and UM coverage is all about is key to ensuring you are protected in an accident. If you do not presently carry these types of coverage, you should call your insurance company to add it to your policy. Review your policy at least annually, to update your coverage for any changes happening in your life, such as marriage, new children or just to meet your needs more adequately. It is always important to consider carrying UIM and UM coverage.
Representation You Need after an Accident
Just as it is important to have the insurance coverage you need, in case you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, it is just as important to talk to a qualified auto accident lawyer after your accident. Having an personal injury attorney is critical toward gaining the compensation you truly deserve for your injuries and other damages, versus gaining only a fraction through a quick settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.