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The Importance of Uninsured-Underinsured Motorist Coverage

The purpose of this article is to persuade Illinois drivers that don’t carry uninsured(UM) or underinsured motorist(UIM) coverage or who have very low UM-UIM policy limits to consider amending their automobile policies to the highest policy limit. Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection for drivers that are incur damages from drivers that do not have automobile insurance or as the result of hit and run car accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage provides coverage where the injuries suffered are in excess of the at-fault driver’s policy limits. For example, let’s say you are involved in an automobile accident that results in medical bills of $60,000.00. Let’s also assume that the other driver was at fault in the accident and that the at-fault driver carried a 20/40 liability policy ($20,000 per individual and $40,000.00 per occurrence – the state minimum in Illinois). First, the at-fault party’s insurance should cover the policy limit of $20,000.00. At that point, your underinsured policy should kick in to cover the remaining $40,000.00. However this example assumes that you carry sufficient underinsured motorist coverage. If your underinsured policy is only $20,000.00 then you are left with $20,000.00 in damages for an accident that was not your fault.

Many Chicago drivers assume they are protected if they have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. However, many of these drivers also carry minimum policies. The worst part is that large amounts of UM/UIM coverage are often available at a very affordable price. For about a gallon of gas a month, an Illinois driver can upgrade from a UM/UIM policy limit of 20/40 to 250/500 for both uninsured and underinsured coverage. As the above example illustrates, this simple upgrade in policy can save you and your family years of financial hardship.

If you have any questions regarding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

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