Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Insurance covers you when you are in a car accident and the other person either does not have insurance or they do not have enough to cover your injuries. Every state has different laws about the application of this type of insurance.
In Pennsylvania, UM/UIM is something you choose when you sign up for car insurance. This selection may seem like a waste of money or not necessary, but you need to think twice before automatically declining the selection.
UM: UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
If you get hit by a vehicle that leaves the scene of the accident and you are injured, you will not be able to recover without UM. Let’s say you are hit by someone speeding through a red light. They slam into your driver’s side so hard that your car flips. You break your leg and need major surgery. This injury is serious. You miss work and are in a lot of pain. You need rehab to learn to walk again and it takes a long time. The car that hit you never stopped. You have no insurance information for them or even the identity of the car. In this situation, if you did not have UM insurance, you would not be able to recover. But, if you did have UM insurance, your own car insurance company would then pay for your personal injuries up to the limits of the amount of UM you selected.
UIM:UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
Let’s take the same scenario but assume the car that hit you stopped. They had insurance but it was only $15,000. You lost 6 months of work for lost wages of $20,000. You can no longer run the marathons you so loved. Your pain is at a constant 6 and it has been a year since the accident. The value of your injuries is more than $15,000. How do you make up the difference? With no UIM, you cannot. You are limited to just the $15,000. With UIM, your car insurance would be on the hook.
Therefore, it’s important in Pennsylvania, to not only have UM/UIM coverage but have it in sufficient amounts. Experts recommend that when purchasing UM/UIM coverage, you should opt for the same amount of coverage you have for liability coverage. For example, if you have $100,000 of liability coverage your UM/UIM should be for $100,000.
Keep in mind that if you are injured by a car that flees the scene of the accident it is important to file a police report. If you have UM, your own insurance company may require it.
To protect yourself against people who leave the scene of an accident, who are uninsured or who have too little insurance, it is to your benefit to have a decent UM/UIM selection.
If you have questions or need assistance with any car accident, we are here to help. Call the Law Offices of Thomas More Holland at 215-592-8080.