The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage – Buy All You Can Afford
Good morning. This is Gil Gilmore with the Gilmore Law Firm. I’m an attorney in Grove Hill and I’ve been practicing law with Gilmore Law Firm since 1983. My purpose here today is to give you some information on uninsured motorist coverage, which is a form of insurance that you purchase from your agent when you’re buying your automobile insurance.
It’s not expensive. It’s something that they’re required to sell you to unless you waive your rights. And if you don’t say anything when you’re buying your insurance, you will get a $25,000 uninsured motorist (UM) coverage for your policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage that will cover you if you are hurt or injured by a third party who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance.
In the state of Alabama, the minimum amount of insurance to have in order to operate a vehicle is $25,000. Liability. And liability is, of course, if you cause injury to another person, your insurance instead will pay, up to the limits of your policy. I have seen clients that have come in here and they’ll have a $500,000 liability limit on the policy, but only a $25,000 uninsured motorist limit. And the uninsured motorist limit is what covers the insured, covers you when you buy your insurance in case you’re hurt or injured by a third party that does not have enough insurance. We feel it’s important for as many people as possible to know that when you purchase your automobile insurance, you need to inquire as to how much UM, uninsured motorist coverage, you can get. As I said earlier, it’s the only insurance that you buy that really covers you, the insured, the one that is paying the premium. And to rehash, what it does is if you are injured by the fault of a third party driver and he does not have enough insured, which most, I’d say 90%, of the cars that are operated out there today have a minimum limit policy, which is $25,000.
We’ve had clients who have been seriously injured and the person that injures them only has $25,000 in coverage. In that case, you and your policy, your underinsured motorist policy or uninsured motorist policy, would step in and provide coverage, step in the shoes of the person who hurt you and your own insurance provides coverage. We’ve had situations where our clients only had $25,000 for insurance and had hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. And those are sad situations where there’s no money to recover from. We’ve also had situations where our clients had large uninsured motor policies, and even though the person that hit them had very little insurance, a $25,000 minimum policy, because they had taken care to buy as much UM policy as they could, they had enough insurance through their own policy to cover and compensate them for their injuries they received in an accident. Because of this, (it’s not expensive), when you buy your insurance from your insurance agent, you need to inquire as to how much insurance you’re allowed to buy under UM and buy as much as you possibly can afford. It is not expensive and it is the only part of the insurance policy that will protect you in case there’s a severe injury to you or somebody in your household.
If you have questions about how much UM insurance you have, you can look at your declaration page and it will tell you what coverages you have. It’ll have a list for medical coverage, it’ll have a list for collision, which protects property damage, it’ll have liability, which in case you injure another party, how much that liability insurance you have and it’ll have a line on your declaration page that is provided to you when you buy your policy, how much UM coverage you have.
If you didn’t ask for a particular amount, it will be $25,000. If you have any questions about how much UM policy you have, you need to call your agent. You need to inquire about getting as much insurance as you possibly can afford.
If you have any questions concerning an accident that you’ve been involved in or the insurance that you have currently on your policy or what you need to get when you talk to your agent, the lawyers at Gilmore law firm will be happy to talk to you. The number is on the website. There’s a link to the blog and we’d be happy to discuss any issues you have at Gilmore law firm.