The truth about underinsured motorist coverage and why is it important?
Underinsured/Uninsured motorist insurance protects the policy holder if they are in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have liability insurance.
North Carolina law requires all vehicles with a valid North Carolina registration to have continuous liability insurance. However, this does not mean that everyone follows the law.
In fact, according to the most recent data nearly 1 in 8 drivers do not have any insurance coverage at all. To help mitigate the risk, North Carolina now requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage.
Underinsured motorist coverage is used when the at-fault driver has liability insurance, but their limits are too low to cover all the damages they caused when they injured someone in an accident.
Even if the at fault driver has insurance, you could still be at financial risk if your damages for personal injury are greater than the other person’s amount of insurance coverage.
For example, if the at fault driver only has the minimum requirement of $30,000.00 in liability insurance to cover bodily injuries, but your claim exceeds $30,000.00 because of hospital bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, without proper underinsured coverage you may left holding the bag.
If you want to have more protection, you could choose to add underinsured motorist coverage to your auto insurance policies.
Why underinsured and uninsured coverage is important
Accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers can be frustrating and complicated. This often leaves the victim of the crash to pay for hospital bills on their own and can leave even the most catastrophically injured person without the necessary monies to provide lifelong care or make up for lost wages.
In short, a lack of available insurance can leave a person in deep trouble through no fault of their own and put the burden on them and their family.
Should I get more than the minimum required liability insurance?
Short answer, yes. Having higher liability insurance can help someone you may hurt in an accident and it can also protect you from being personally liable for personal injury damages sustained by the person you hurt.
If your insurance does not cover the driver’s damages, you may be required to cover the difference. This could even lead to losing your personal assets.
How much uninsured and underinsured coverage should I carry on my own insurance policy?
As much as you can reasonably afford. If you are seriously hurt, medical expenses and missed time from work can place a tremendous financial burden on you or your loved ones at a time when you should be focused on healing.
Medical bills add up quick, and if you are unable to work for a period of time or are so injured you cannot work again, having uninsured or underinsured coverage can help pay for those bills and lost income. Talk to your insurance agent about your options and see what your current coverage is, it may be time to up your limits if you can afford to do so.
Do I need uninsured motorist coverage if I have health insurance?
Even if you have the best health insurance available, it still will not cover everything. Health insurance will not pay for lost wages or pain and suffering.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and do not have sufficient coverage of your own to protect you, you will have to pay for your medical bills and damages yourself, even if the accident was not your fault.
Do not rely on others to do the right thing, protect your loved ones, yourself, and your property by making sure you have enough coverage. Uninsured and underinsured insurance provide financial protection in an accident if it turns out the person at fault does not have enough coverage to pay for your damages and losses.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident here in Western North Carolina, the personal injury lawyers Fisher Stark P.A. can help. We handle both uninsured and underinsured claims and have done so for years.
Asheville Auto Accident Lawyers
We are based in Asheville, NC but offer free consultations over the phone or video chat. All you have to do is call us at (828) 505-4300 or contact us via email.
As auto accident lawyers, we have successfully obtained fair compensation for many of our clients over the years. We are not intimidated by insurance companies or other attorneys.
We don’t settle out of convenience or fear of going to trial. We will fight to get you the fair and reasonable compensation you deserve.
We will work hard to get you the justice & fair compensation you deserve. Fisher Stark, P.A. is a highly respected personal injury law firm in Asheville, NC. We provide experienced legal help for clients in Asheville, NC, and all the communities in Western North Carolina. Collectively, our legal team – Perry Fisher and Brad Stark – have more than 50 years of trial practice and have participated in more than 1,000+ injury cases. Call 828-505-4300 for a free consultation.