In the event of an auto accident, you need to be concerned about who is at fault and whose medical expenses and property damage expenses will be covered by whose auto insurance.
If the other driver is at-fault, their liability coverage will pay for your medical payments and/or property damages.
If you cause an accident, your liability insurance covers the other driver/passengers if they have medical expenses and/or property damages to cover. Collision coverage and medical payments (Med Pay or MP) or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage — depending on your state — should cover your own medical expenses and/or property damages.
So, great! That covers most situations, right?
Actually — wrong.
There’s one more, rather common scenario we haven’t mentioned yet: Being hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
What Happens if You’re Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
Being hit by an uninsured motorist is slightly different from being hit by a UIM. Still, there are coverage types for both of these scenarios, and they are often covered under one policy.
Essentially, if you are hit by either one of these drivers, you’re out of luck unless you have something called uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. You’ll see this type of coverage referred to as UM/UIM coverage.
How UM/UIM Coverage Works
UM/UIM coverage is on your side. This is important to note as many people wrongly assume that it’s a type of coverage that pays the other driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
It’s actually a policy that you have on your own insurance plan, and it protects you if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
In these scenarios, it will not pay for damages to your car, such as broken headlights or dented doors. But it will pay for your medical expenses and other injury-related expenses such as pain and suffering and lost wages.
How to Prepare Yourself With UM/UIM Coverage
1. Understand Why UM/UIM Coverage Is Important
If you don’t have UM/UIM coverage, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket if an uninsured or underinsured driver causes a collision that you’re involved in. In this way, you could lose up to tens of thousands of dollars (or more) after just one accident that wasn’t even your fault.
2. Know Whether UM/UIM Coverage Is Required in Your State
Not all states require UM/UIM coverage. Wisconsin requires only UM coverage. Although UIM coverage is not required in Wisconsin, it is certainly recommended. When a driver doesn’t have ample limits on their liability insurance, you could pay the price.
3. Find Out if UMPD Coverage Is Available
Medical expenses and lost wages aren’t the only things you’ll need to be paid if you get into an accident. It’s also highly likely that you’ll have serious damage to your vehicle, in which case you‘ll need coverage for property damages.
Again, you won’t get any help from the uninsured or underinsured driver.
Therefore, you can often obtain a type of insurance called UMPD coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage. This isn’t offered in all states, and it is not offered in Wisconsin.
As a result, you’ll want to look at getting collision coverage to take care of this potential issue.
4. Speak With a Knowledgeable Auto Insurance Agent About Coverage
Our agents at River City Insurance are here to give you peace of mind when it comes to your auto coverage. Feel free to speak with us about your UM/UIM options and collision coverage so that you’re always protected when you’re on the road.
Call or stop in today to learn more.