In Arizona, the law requires every vehicle owner to purchase a minimum level of liability and property damage auto insurance. The minimum requirements are $15,000 per person ($30,000 per occurrence) in liability coverage for bodily injuries and $10,000 in property damage coverage. Considering the cost of a vehicle, rising healthcare costs, and the serious nature of injuries that result from car accidents, these minimum limits beg the question … What if that the minimum coverage rates are not enough?
WHAT IS UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE?
Underinsured Motorist Coverage, often referred to as UIM, is coverage that kicks in when the car that caused the accident does not have enough insurance to compensate your losses. There are typically two types of UIM coverages: (1) Property Damage UIM, which covers the damage to your vehicle and (2) Bodily Injury UIM, which compensates for your personal injuries.
WHAT IS UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE?
While Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) may provide some level of comfort and security, what happens if a negligent driver breaks the law and the vehicle that caused the accident is not insured at all? Similar to UIM, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, often referred to as UM, is coverage for bodily injury or for property damage when the car that caused the accident is not insured at all.
WHY SHOULD I PURCHASE UIM/UM COVERAGE?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are one of the top ten causes of death for people of all ages. Furthermore, the CDC reports that in the United States, car accidents cost 41 billion dollars annually in medical expenses and lost wages. In Arizona alone, the losses for medical expenses and lost wages amount to an average of 1.1 billion dollars each year. Finally, the Blackwater Insurance Group reports that an average 1 in 7 drivers are uninsured. These statistics alone underlie the importance of UIM/UM Coverage.
HOW MUCH UIM/UM SHOULD I HAVE?
Typically, your UIM/UM limits would be equal to your liability limits.
WHAT EVERY INSURED DRIVER SHOULD KNOW
By law, every car insurance company in Arizona is obligated to offer you both Underinsured (UIM) and Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage when you sign up with their company. If you did not sign up for UIM/UM Coverage when your contract began with the insurance company and you later request this type of coverage, your insurance company is required to give it to you.
If you have been involved in a car accident and the at-fault driver either does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage, give us a call for a free no-obligation consultation.