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Do I really need to buy UIM/UM coverage on my PA auto insurance policy?

 

A:

Yes, I highly recommend that you purchase underinsured motorist/uninsured motorist (UIM/UM) coverage because it may save you from financial ruin.  As a personal injury lawyer who helps many victims of PA car and truck accidents, I have seen some of my clients financially protected after a serious, catastrophic accident because they had UIM/UM coverage.  I have also seen some of my clients unable to fully recover for their damages because they did not have UIM/UM coverage.

UIM Case Result Obtained by Daniel J. O'Brien: Client receives $1,750,000 arbitration award

After a PA car accident, the injured party may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover for his injuries and damages.  The at-fault driver's liability coverage may not be enough to cover the injured party's damages. 

Let's assume you are seriously injured in a car accident caused by another driver who has a minimum liability coverage of $15,000.  As a result of the accident and injury, you suffer several broken bones throughout your body; you fracture your leg, shatter your knee and break your arm.  You need several surgeries.  Your medical bills alone exceed $15,000.  Because of your injuries and pain and suffering, your case is worth significantly more than $15,000. 

You file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and recover $15,000.  If you have UIM coverage of $100,000, you now may file a UIM claim with your car insurance company.  You may recover up to $100,000 for your damages and injuries, in addition to the $15,000 you recovered from the at-fault driver.

If you do not have UIM coverage, then you are only likely to recover $15,000 from the at-fault driver.  Most people with minimal auto insurance coverage limits do not have tangible assets which can fulfill a judgment. Therefore, in 99% of auto accident cases, the at-fault party’s auto policy limits, if available, are the only source of recovery.

If in the same situation the at-fault driver does not have an auto insurance policy, you would probably not be able to recover from the at-fault driver.  If you have UM coverage, you can file a UM claim with your insurance company because the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance. 

As you can see, it is very important to have UIM/UM coverage.  If the at-fault driver does not have an auto insurance policy or does not have enough liability coverage to compensate you for your damages, UIM/UM coverage is crucial in these types of situations.

Many drivers may think that by not choosing UIM/UM coverage, they can save on their annual premiums.  However, UIM/UM coverage is not expensive and drivers do not save that much by not purchasing UIM/UM coverage.

Related: PA Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage - What You Don't Know (And What You Don't Buy) Could Hurt You

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at 877.944.8396.


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