June 14, 2016 Under Insured Motorists

You are involved in an automobile accident and you suffer a serious injury. You learn that the driver who hit you has either no insurance coverage at all or a policy with very low limits. What do you do? This month’s newsletter will explain both “uninsured” and “underinsured” motorist coverage.

Most people purchase automobile insurance to protect themselves and their family members from lawsuits arising from an accident which they cause. What most people do not realize, however, is that their automobile insurance policy provides protection to them in two additional and very important ways: (1) when another driver causes the accident, but has no insurance coverage; and (2) when another driver causes the accident and they have insurance, but their policy’s limits are too low to adequately compensate you or your family members for their injuries. These two additional protections are known as “uninsured” and “underinsured” motorist coverage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.6 percent of Americans do not have car insurance, which means you have roughly a 1 in 8 chance of being in an accident with an uninsured individual. There are also many drivers who have insurance, but simply not enough. In fact, a New Jersey driver is only required to have $15,000 in liability coverage, which would not begin to compensate you should you suffer serious injuries. Making sure your automobile policy has adequate “uninsured” and “underinsured” motorist coverage will ensure that you and your loved ones are protected in the event of an accident.

Finally, most insurance companies don’t adequately explain these important coverage issues, so take a moment and look at the automobile coverage you have selected on your policy. If you have any questions, I would be happy to review your coverage levels with you, as well as answer any of your questions.

Jim Maggs