What is uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage?

Categories: Insurance

UM coverage is the single most important item you can purchase when buying automobile insurance.  Why?  Because it protects YOU!  The other coverages are required by law to protect other people.  Unfortunately, many people are driving around with minimum limits ($25,000.00 in Georgia), or without any insurance at all.  This is where UM comes into play.

Let’s say you were involved in an accident and incurred $100,000.00 in medical expenses, and assume further the at fault party only has the state minimum of $25,000.00 in coverage.  This means that you would be responsible for the additional $75,000.00 in medical expenses; even worse, if the person that hit you had no insurance, you would be on the hook for ALL of your medical expenses.

However, in the example above, if you had purchased $50,000.00 excess or ad-on UM coverage, your insurance company would compensate you for your medical expenses and bodily injuries up to an additional $50,000.00.  Basically, you submit your damages claim to your own insurance company in the same manner you would to the at fault insurance company and demand that your insurance company compensate you just as you would if there was additional liability insurance.  It is a HUGE mistake to settle a personal injury claim without fully and completely analyzing and understanding available UM coverage.  Nevertheless, individuals settle injury claims everyday without ever realizing they may be entitled to additional UM benefits.

I often meet with significantly injured clients that do not have UM coverage, or do not have enough UM coverage, this is devastating in the case of a catastrophic accident.  Be sure to check your UM limits and purchase as much UM coverage as you can afford.