What You Should Know About UM/UIM Coverage
Mississippi residents who are shopping for car insurance policies may be surprised to be offered what is known as uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage. Despite not being a requirement for all drivers, the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) recommends it so that drivers are covered in the event of a collision with an uninsured motorist.
When deciding whether to include this in your policy or reject it, it's understandable that you may have questions. Read on to hear some answers.
1. What is the Difference Between UM and UIM Coverage?
As UM/UIM coverage is often bundled together, many people may not realize that they are different policies that are useful in different scenarios.
Having uninsured motorist coverage on your policy can protect you in two ways: bodily injury and property damage. If you were involved in a crash caused by an uninsured motorist, a standard policy would cover injuries for you and passengers up to $25,000 (not to exceed $50,000 per accident) and up to $25,000 worth of property damage.
Although UIM coverage protects you in the same manner as UM coverage, it is typically only utilized when the at-fault driver is insured but their minimums cannot cover the total cost of damages.
2. Isn’t UM/UIM Coverage Expensive?
UM/UIM coverage is generally inexpensive. Despite being an additional policy option, your annual cost won't severely increase by choosing to obtain it. On average, this can range an average of $50 to 75 per year; however, this can vary depending on the person, like with any insurance policy.
3. How Do I Obtain UM/UIM Coverage?
MID requires that the option to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage be made available to all motorists, so obtaining it is as simple as calling your insurance provider. Even if you initially rejected it, you can still add it to your policy if you changed your mind.
Similarly, you may be required to sign a rejection for each vehicle added to your policy, so if you get a new car, the decision process starts over.
4. Do I Really Need It?
The decision to obtain UM/UIM coverage is entirely up to you, but it is highly recommended. When assessing the risks and benefits of getting it, the only thing that may be stopping you is the extra expenses tacked onto your policy. Considering that, it is much more expensive to go through the aftermath of a crash with an uninsured motorist.
Not having this coverage may require you to pay more out-of-pocket costs for treatments and vehicle repairs, as well as put you through a slower legal process, should you choose to file a claim. You can learn more about the effects of rejecting this coverage here.
5. Can I Still Pursue Legal Action Against an Uninsured Motorist?
You will always have a right to pursue legal action against a driver who caused your injury, even with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. That being said, an uninsured driver who causes a crash will likely have to deal with both civil and criminal charges since Mississippi requires all drivers to have car insurance.
If choosing to file a claim and lawsuit against an uninsured motorist, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who is experienced in these matters.
More Questions? Our Mississippi Attorneys Have Answers
Vollor Law Firm, P.A. is a reputable personal injury firm in Northern Mississippi that has helped over 5000 clients through legal matters. If you were involved in a collision with an uninsured motorist and are seeking damages for your injuries, call (662) 269-6188 to get in touch with a member of our team.