What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why Do You Need It?

I’ll be the first to admit; automobile insurance companies make funny commercials. Talking ducks, geckos, and pigs… I’m laughing just thinking about it. But what insurance companies don’t do is teach you about arguably their most important product – uninsured motors coverage (UIM).

What is underinsured motorist coverage and how can it help you if you've been in an accident.UIM coverage is the policy that protects you against negligent drivers if they cause you bodily injury and/or property damage. Let’s say you’re driving through an intersection, and without warning, someone runs their red-light and T-bones your car causing you serious injury. Obviously, they are at fault.

But what happens if they don’t have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries? What if they are uninsured or underinsured? That’s where your UIM policy comes into play. Virginia allows people to drive without insurance, so getting this kind of coverage is essential if you own a car.

Keep in mind, UIM coverage is not just for drivers who don't carry enough insurance or no insurance at all. If your car has been damaged in a hit and run, you can claim against your UIM coverage. Typically, UIM policies have a lower deductible than your general policy, so you will have to pay less out-of-pocket if your car is damaged in a hit and run.

Also, UIM is "no-fault" coverage. Generally, this means if you have to use your UIM coverage to pay for damages to your property or injuries, your insurance rates won't go up (assuming you were not at-fault for the accident).

In Virginia, UIM policies come as low as $25,000 (assuming you purchase UIM). Now you might think, $25,000 is a lot of money. But in cases of severe injury, $25,000 may not even be a drop in the bucket.

I urge you to take a look at your car insurance policy now and see what your UIM coverage is. If it’s anything under $1 million, call and get $1 million in protection. Now you may think that’s going to be expensive. However, surprising, it’s a lot cheaper than you think and well worth it.

James S. Abrenio
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Focusing on criminal, traffic defense and personal injury cases