Within a Personal and Commercial Auto Insurance policy there are a number of different coverages. Many we see regularly and understand, like collision, bodily injury liability, or even personal injury (no-fault, as it’s commonly referred to).
But a less understood coverage, and something that can have significant impact, is UM. “UM” stands for Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage. This is the aspect of insurance that provides coverage to YOU for YOUR injuries and damage when the person who caused the accident either doesn’t have insurance, does not have appropriate limits to cover your damages, or their insurance carrier denies coverage or goes out of business.
The costs covered by UM could be used for medical bills and lost wages, and *DEPENDING ON THE STATE* can be used to cover damage to your car or other property.
*New York State does NOT allow UM to cover physical damage to your vehicle or property.
The 2021 Insurance Research Council Report estimates that one in every EIGHT drivers on the road, as of 2019, was driving WITHOUT insurance. The estimated country-wide uninsured motorist rate was 12.6%. This ranges from states like Michigan with a 25.5% uninsured rate, to Massachusetts with a 3.5% uninsured rate. Many states saw significant increase in uninsured drivers since the 2015 report.
A bad car accident is a traumatic event that can have devastating impact to a person both physically and financially. NYS requires drivers to cover only the mandated $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in liability coverage. As you can imagine, not only the concern for uninsured, the exposure for Underinsured drivers is significant.
Because of the seemingly constant insurance commercials promising “cheapest rates”, many often drive with state minimum insurance policies in the attempt to keep their premium down. This not only exposes these drivers personally, but also the other well intended drivers on the road. Because of this, many now look to have their UM coverage extended into their Personal Umbrella coverage. This would allow the Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist limit to be increased by whatever umbrella limit carried, normally maxed at an additional $1,000,000.
If you aren’t sure what limits you are carrying, or your potential exposure, don’t hesitate to call any of the qualified professionals at Ten Eyck Group today!
By: Greg Barcomb