As a responsible driver, you make sure your insurance is up to date and you are covered for every type of accident. Unfortunately, just because you are responsible doesn't mean that the other drivers on the road are fully insured as well. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about underinsured motorist coverage.
What Exactly Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Unlike uninsured insurance coverage, which protects a driver who is an accident with another driver that doesn't have liability automotive insurance, underinsured coverage steps in if the other driver's liability insurance isn't enough to cover your medical bills and property damage. For example, if the other driver's liability insurance only covers $15,000 of your medical bills, and your medical bills are over $20,000, your underinsured driver coverage kicks in and pays for the rest of your costs.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage are often bundled, but just because you have uninsured coverage doesn't mean you also have the protections afforded by underinsured coverage.
How Do I Obtain Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Talk to your auto insurance provider about the benefits of underinsured motorist coverage. Once again, underinsured motorist coverage is typically bundled with uninsured motorist coverage, so you may need to purchase both types of policies. Depending on where you live, your state may require you purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
Ask your agent is uninsured motorist coverage is legally required in your state and if you already have uninsured motorist coverage, ask about adding an underinsured motorist policy to your existing automobile insurance plan.
How Do I File an Underinsured Motorist Claim?
Contact your insurance company to determine if you need to file an underinsured motorist claim. Depending on your insurance provider, there may be a time limit to file a claim. Various information is needed to file a complete claim. For example, you will need the other driver's limits on their liability insurance.
The insurance company will also require a detailed list of your medical and property damage bills to determine how much additional coverage you require. Depending on the extent of your injuries or the property damage that occurred, such as the damage to your vehicle, it might take several additional days or weeks for your claim to be complete.
If you are ever in an automobile accident and the hospital bills and property damage cost more than the other driver's coverage, you will be left with a large bill. Talk to your automotive insurance provider with any additional questions.