What is Underinsured & Uninsured Motorist Coverage? Why should you care?
What is Underinsured & Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage is an auto insurance policy provision which extends coverage to include property and bodily damage caused by a motorist who has insufficient auto insurance of their own. Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to provide the injured party with compensation above the limit of the at-fault party's policy. Underinsured coverage is not the same as uninsured coverage, which includes cases where the at-fault driver had no insurance at all. Both of these additional coverages are not required in Georgia, but can be very beneficial if you are in an auto accident.
BREAKING DOWN Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage usually adds only nominal expense to an auto insurance policy cost, but provides beneficial coverage. This coverage will become useful during an accident where the driver who was found to be at-fault does not have enough insurance to cover the cost of damages from the crash. In Georgia, the minimum required insurance coverage is only $25,000. With the cost of medical treatment being so expensive, this $25,000 is often not enough to cover injuries from a serious accident.
Example: Someone rear ends you at a red light and only has the state minimum. As a result, your doctor says you need a couple steroid injections and 3 months of physical therapy. If the medical costs exceed the minimum insurance of $25,000 you are out of luck and will not be able to be approved for the treatment you need. This is why having extra insurance (underinsured motorist coverage) can protect you regardless of what the at fault driver's insurance coverage is.
The Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you're in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn't carry liability insurance.
Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, steps in when you're in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover the damage or medical expenses. The at-fault driver's insurance will typically pay for all damages up to the policy limits, and then your underinsured motorist coverage will cover the excess amount up to the limits you select.
Why You Should Care?
Most people do not want to pay the extra month to month premium for these additional coverage. However, the additional amount is usually very minimal and can be a life saver in a unfortunate situation. Make sure you are protected so you don't have to rely on someone else's insurance coverage.