Uninsured Motorist Problems
- Buying uninsured motorist coverage financially protects drivers when they have accidents with people who either have no insurance, or not enough coverage (underinsured). Some states such as Florida, the Insurance Research Council says, have as many as 23 percent of drivers on the road that are driving without any kind of auto insurance. Even though the state requires PIP (personal injury protection) insurance, it has low minimums of only $10,000, which is often not enough to cover both automobile and medical expenses fully.
- The purpose of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is to provide coverage in accidents for people, cars, and property. A number of states leave the option of getting this coverage up to the driver. Each state that requires the UM insurance will also set minimum and maximum levels. Nearly all states declare that the insurance provides payment for damages and injuries, which includes sickness or disease, and death. It may also include lost income, pain and suffering, and costs designed to "punish" the other driver.
- Coverage on this type of policy add-on is not universal, however, and it often will not cover certain types of vehicles. This includes vehicles that can be hired, such as taxicabs; a person who is injured when driving a vehicle without permission; and government vehicles. In addition, it would cover a pedestrian, even when involved a hit-and-run situation.
- Money from an accident involving uninsured motorist coverage can take a considerable amount of time to receive due to the process that it must go through. A lawsuit must sometimes be filed, possibly by the insured, in order to get the money. If required, it is a policy established by the state. This basically means that you must sue your own insurer to get the money you deserve. Some auto insurers try hard to avoid payments in such situations, and may not even want to sell it to you, saying that your health insurance will cover it. UM insurance does not cost much.
- When a driver is in an accident with another driver, and the uninsured driver offers a settlement, caution must be taken. If it is accepted, then a claim cannot be filed for uninsured motorist coverage for the accident. In addition, it usually ends further ability to get any more funds. An attorney needs to be consulted first before accepting the settlement money.