Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

"Auto Insurance – What Do I Need? Uninsured Motorist Coverage"

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 04, 2012

Most of my clients don’t find out that they have terrible auto insurance until it’s too late – they have been involved in an accident and they are sitting in front of me talking about what they can do.

By then it’s too late to change anything. The coverage you have when a car accident occurs is fixed as of that date and nothing can change it. So be sure to get the right coverage from the start.

NJ car insurance Uninsured Motorist CoverageThe first two installments of this series on auto insurance are on what the insurance carriers call “UM/UIM”, or Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage provides coverage for damages incurred in car, truck, and motorcycle accidents involving an uninsured, negligent driver.

You’re a good law-abiding citizen, and you go out and spend way too much of your hard earned pay on auto insurance.  (New Jersey currently ranks number two in most expensive places to buy auto insurance, second only to Washington, D.C.). Then a day comes when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident. What happens if the other driver failed to get any insurance at all? (Same result if the car or truck was stolen.) What happens is: YOUR own insurance steps in and becomes the insurance for the other vehicle, BUT ONLY UP TO THE AMOUNT OF UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE YOU HAVE PURCHASED ON YOUR POLICY. Why am I emphasizing? Because many insurance carriers will offer a very low amount of coverage ($15,000) to you linked with an offer to save a certain percentage of the premium.

NJ Car Insurance Buyers GuideThe insurance carrier does not explain what the coverage is, only that you can save money by choosing a lower amount of coverage. By offering a small savings on insurance premiums, insurance carriers try to influence their customers to opt for inadequate Uninsured Motorist Coverage and thus limit the insurer’s exposure to payments for auto accidents involving uninsured, negligent drivers. They don’t tell you that UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IS THERE TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES – by compensating you for injuries and losses caused by a negligent driver.

By law, your insurance must offer you the same amount of uninsured motorist coverage as the liability coverage you have purchased.  So if you buy $100,000 in liability insurance (meant to protect someone else who gets injured as a result of YOUR mistake in driving) please, please, please, ALWAYS get as much UNINSURED MOTORIST coverage as you have in bodily injury liability coverage. The cost difference is not great and well worth it for YOUR protection.

As always, if you want to discuss this, call me, toll free at 888-233-1272.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents"Motor Vehicle Accidents", Automobile Insurance"Automobile Insurance", NJ Auto Insurance"NJ Auto Insurance", NJ Car Insurance"NJ Car Insurance", UM/UIM Coverage"UM/UIM Coverage", Uninsured Motorist Coverage"Uninsured Motorist Coverage"

© 2016 Francis M. Smith, Esq., NJ Personal Injury Attorney

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