Auto Accidents: Understanding Texas Auto Insurance: UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
WHAT IS UM/UIM? What do you do if you’re in a wreck caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages?
In Texas, the best answer is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), a type of coverage you can buy as part of your automobile coverage. If the other driver doesn’t have any insurance at all, then your uninsured motorist coverage will compensate you for your personal injury damages and/or your property damages up to the limit of your policy.
If the other driver has some insurance, but it’s not enough, then the underinsured motorist coverage will compensate you for the difference up to the limit of your policy. For example, if you have a personal injury claim that is worth $50,000.00, but the other driver only had the minimum $30,000.00 insurance required by Texas law, then your underinsured motorist coverage would cover the additional $20,000.00.
Notice that the coverage will pay the damages “up to the limit of your policy.” Like liability coverage, your UM/UIM coverage also has limits, and the insurance company will not usually be required to pay more than the limits of the policy. Thus, the more coverage you purchase, the more protection you’re buying for you and your family.
As a personal injury attorney, I highly recommend that you purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family.
UNUSUAL WAYS UM/UIM PROTECTS YOU. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can protect you in a number of situations that you might not think about:
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage can apply when you’re in your car or truck and you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply in a hit-and-run accident if there is contact between your vehicle and the other vehicle.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply if you are a pedestrian and are hit by a car or truck with a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply if you are on a bicycle and hit by a vehicle with a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage may apply if you’re a passenger in another car that is hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance.
In many cases, more than one uninsured/underinsured policy may apply. For example, if you’re in a friend’s car and hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance, you might be able to make a claim on your own insurance and on the uninsured/underinsured policy covering the car that you’re in.
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