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Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage and Claims

Uninsured motorist insurance (UMI) exists to help cover your bodily injury and property damage expenses if you're in an accident with a motorist who doesn't have automobile insurance.

For instance, let's say you're cruising along the highway. Suddenly, you hear a loud screech and feel a hard crash. Another driver has just hit you. You pull over to the side of the road and begin talking to the other motorist. The other driver doesn't have car insurance. Thank goodness you have uninsured motorist insurance (UMI) to help cover your accident expenses.

This article provides essential information about uninsured motorist (UMI) coverage, including whether UMI coverage is mandatory and how to make a claim.

UMI: What is it?

With UMI coverage, your insurer pays you and your passengers for injury or death in one of three scenarios. These scenarios include:

Every driver must have a minimum amount of car insurance under state law. This type of coverage is known as liability coverage, and financial responsibility laws mandate it. In some situations, drivers don't carry the required amount of minimum coverage. Does that mean that you have to pay out-of-pocket for your own expenses?

No. This is where UMI kicks in.

Is UMI a Mandatory Insurance Requirement?

In general, UMI insurance is optional. It may depend on where you live. Insurance options and requirements vary widely by state, including:

  • Coverage choices
  • Available liability limits
  • Mandatory requirements

Also, some insurance companies offer Uninsured Motorist Property Damage insurance (UMPD), which covers damage to your vehicle or other property.

Making a UMI Claim

If you're in a car crash and the other driver doesn't have enough insurance, you have a couple of options. You can sue the other driver or make a UMI claim through your own insurance company as a policyholder. If they don't have liability insurance coverage, the other driver may also lack the assets to cover your damages. Your best option might be to file a claim with your insurer.

Contact your insurer as soon as possible. Most insurance companies have time limits on when you can file an uninsured motorist claim. In most cases, you must meet this requirement to be able to collect on your claim. Take notes about your accident so you can provide them to your insurer.

A claims adjuster will handle your case. They'll investigate whether you have the correct coverage under your insurance policy and who the at-fault driver was. Your insurer may deny your claim. Each case is different and depends on unique facts.

If your claim gets approved, your insurer will issue a check to you. Remember that the company will likely subtract your deductible from your recoverable amount.

Questions About Uninsured Motorist Coverage? A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you're in a car accident, it's crucial to be familiar with your state's auto insurance laws and policy limits. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in motor vehicle accidents to learn more.

A car accident attorney will guide you through your insurance claim after an auto accident. They can help you address issues like underinsured motorist coverage and how to recover expenses like medical bills.

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Contact a qualified auto accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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