In the last few months, I must have spoken to a dozen people who’d been injured in serious Pennsylvania car accidents who didn’t know what uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage was.
These were people with real injuries who suffered considerable physical and economic loses as a result of someone else’s careless driving. They each have a potentially valuable case, except for two things: 1. The negligent driver had no insurance or the minimum required amount of insurance; and 2. The victims had no or very little UM/UIM coverage.
These potentially valuable cases suddenly became small cases or no cases at all.
What is UM coverage? What is UIM coverage? Simply put, these 2 car insurance coverage are, in my opinion, the second most important type of insurance coverage an individual can buy, second only to long-term disability insurance.
When an individual gets seriously injured in a car accident and incurs large medical expenses or is out of work for a long period of time, the ability to be made whole or just avoid financial ruin depends on the availability of insurance proceeds to pay the damages. If the negligent driver has little or no insurance, and if he isn’t Bill Gates, the victim is out of luck unless the victim has sufficient UM/UIM coverage.
UM stands for “uninsured motorist coverage.” UIM stand for “underinsured motorist coverage.” These coverages are optional. You can buy them or decline them at your discretion. UM coverage protects you in the event you are injured by a negligent driver who has no car insurance coverage. UIM coverage protects you in the event you are injured by an individual who carries insufficient insurance to fully compensate you for your physical and economic loses.
It seems clear to me that insurance companies steer consumers away from both UM and UIM coverage. That is because the coverage is relatively inexpensive, and can provide very substantial benefits to the policyholders. As more and more people purchase car insurance from websites rather than real people, the ability to ask questions is greatly reduced. The result of all this is that more and more people seem to be driving without the type of insurance they need to protect themselves from economic disaster.
Suggested PA Car Accident Legal Article: The Interplay Of Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you or a loved one was in a Pennsylvania car accident, feel free to call Dan O’Brien, a PA car accident injury lawyer, for a free initial consultation @ 877.944.8396.
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