What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage & Why Should I Have It?

Uninsured motorist coverage is a provision available in automobile insurance policies that protects you if you are in an accident with another driver who is uninsured or underinsured.  Although typically called “uninsured motorist coverage” it also includes a subcategory of “underinsured motorist coverage” when the at-fault driver does have liability insurance, but the limits are too low to cover all of the damages incurred by you.  The Insurance Research Council estimates that one out of every seven drivers in the United States is currently insured.  In fact, according to a story carried by WBIR on June 30, 2015, one out of every five drivers in Tennessee lacks liability insurance.  As a result, the Tennessee legislature passed a new law requiring stiffer penalties for drivers that lack proper basic liability insurance.  However, stiffer penalties do not help protect the law-abiding driver who unfortunately has an accident with someone not carrying proper insurance.  

Although uninsured motorist coverage is an addition to someone’s base policy, it is well worth the extra premium.  Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other injuries related to an accident where the at-fault driver is not properly insured.

We recommend to anyone that they have liability coverage of $100,000 for injuries to one person and $300,000 for injuries in each accident.  Importantly, we suggest the very same coverage for uninsured and uninsured motorist coverage.  People are often surprised that bumping up their coverage both for liability and uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage does not cause a tremendous increase in their premiums.




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