Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages

NIK_0292_largeIn Arizona, twenty-two percent of motorists are uninsured, the fifth highest rate in the country (Insurance Research Council, Uninsured Motorists, 2006 ed.).  Many more are “underinsured” and carry state-mandated minimum liability coverage of $15,000/$30,000.  Most of us have liability insurance as part of our auto insurance policy.  But liability insurance will not cover you and your family if you suffer significant injuries in a motor vehicle collision caused by somebody else.  What should you do?

State law requires that every auto insurance company afford you the opportunity to purchase uninsured motorist coverage (“UM”) and underinsured motorist coverage (“UIM”) in amounts up to the limits of your liability coverage.  This coverage will provide additional protection for you, occupants of your vehicle, and members of your family who suffer injury caused by a motorist who has no liability insurance, or insufficient liability insurance.  These coverages are affordable (only a fraction of the cost of liability insurance) and cover all of your damages (medical expenses, loss of earnings and pain and suffering).  Better yet, under Arizona law, as long as you were not the substantial cause of the collision, your insurance company can not increase your premiums for using these coverages.

You obtained liability insurance to protect you financially if someone makes a claim against you, or sues you, for causing injuries.  Why carry liability insurance (which pays money to others) but not obtain UM and UIM insurance (which pays money to you and your family members)?  Review your policy today!

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