Uninsured motorist coverage in simple words, is an insurance against any damage that is inflicted on the insured person's assets or health in a car accident. This coverage, which in some cases is also known as Uninsured motorist clause of the insurance coverage, is usually given as per the damage that has occurred or it is in proportion with the premium paid for the coverage. In the following paragraphs, this concept has been thoroughly discussed and all related concepts have been explained.
An Encounter with an Uninsured or Under-insured Motorist
A careless motorist who is uninsured is a very bad combination, especially if you are the person who ends up in an accident because of such a person, or as a result of such a person. An Uninsured motorist (UM) and Under-insured motorist (UIM) are two types of drivers who do not have sufficient auto insurance coverage to compensate the victim for property damage or health related expenditures.
An uninsured motorist is simply the one who does not have any coverage at all whereas a motorist who has an insufficient coverage is an under-insured motorist. The insufficiency in coverage of an under-insured motorist is principally based upon the motorist laws of the state. On the whole from the point of view of accidents, an uninsured vehicle, consists of:
- Any vehicle that does not carry insurance as prescribed by the state laws, or
- Hit and run cases or incidents where the driver or the vehicle involved has not been identified, or
- Stolen vehicles, or cases or armed or unarmed violence
On the whole the procedure should go as follows. When you end up in an accident, there are three types of damages that the involved parties suffer from: health damage such as injuries, damage to vehicle and other property damage which also includes different legal implications imposed by the road authority such as fines and compensations.
Now, how much the insurance company covers for you or pays on your behalf depends upon what your insurance policy covers. Most of the common auto insurance policies cover damage to health and car, and some related expenditures. When you are not at fault, a major chunk of these expenditures is paid for by the insurance company of the person who has been at fault. However, if the person responsible is uninsured or does not have the designated insurance, you as an innocent person would not get anything or whatever you get would be quite meager, and hence it is essential to have the clause included in your insurance.
How does the Coverage Work?
Now, even before we begin, please take into consideration that the coverage provides partial compensation for some expenses that you have incurred due to an accident where the person at fault was uninsured or under-insured. The compensation is usually provided in proportion to the premium, irrespective of the total amount that the victim is entitled to recover.
Some common expenditures that are covered by the uninsured motorist coverage:
- The most important cover that is provided is of the bodily injury liability (BI) which pays for all medical expenditures that are connoted to be first aid expenses or expenses preceding the accidents such as medical and emergency room expenditures. On the whole the insured person and first family members (if they had been passengers at the time of incidence) receive immediate medical assistance.
- Collision coverage, provides for certain basic repairs of the car. This usually does not include touch up job, paint, polish or anything that may be connoted to be a luxury.
- Property damage (UNDPD) is a coverage, where if any significant damage has been inflicted on properties, especially public properties, then coverage is provided to accommodate it.
- Lastly, there are two additional and optional coverage, these include, legal processing coverage which helps you to sue the person who caused the accident and lastly and personal injury coverage which covers expenditures such as lost wages and pain and damage. These two coverage have costly premiums.
Illinois, State of New York and Maryland have made this coverage to a certain extent compulsory. On the whole, this coverage helps us to safely make our way out of the accident, and also helps us to get some or the other compensation.