The Other Driver Is Uninsured (UM) or Is Underinsured (UIM)?


Over the years clients have asked: “Why should I buy Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM) in case someone hits me. Isn’t that the other driver’s job.” The truth is you are insuring yourself in case the at-fault driver has no insurance, minimal insurance or drives off in a hit-and-run situation. The goal is to protect yourself.  In situations like this your only hope for a financial recovery is from your Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage.
Why Should I Pay for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?

 


According to the latest data, Georgia ranks number 26 with a rate 11.7% of uninsured drivers. (2012 ~ Insurance Information Institute, Inc.)  Nearly a 12% of Georgia drivers, or one out of eight drivers, do NOT have auto insurance law and Georgia, along with 48 other states, have compulsory insurance laws. Thus, if one of these drivers who is trying to beat the system causes an accident which injures you, who is going to pay your medical and other bills?  What can you do to protect yourself? 


UM works because it is and agreement between an insurance company and the insured. According to most policies, the UM carrier will pay the injured victim for medical bills, pain, suffering, and other expenses caused by an uninsured driver. However, UM payment is not automatic! You must still prove that the accident was caused by another party due to negligence and that you have sustained injuries. UM carriers (your company, right) fight just as hard, if not harder to minimize the amount of compensation you receive.  The UM company has a job to do and seeks to earn a profit just like at-fault driver’s insurance company.


UM Coverage is offered similar to Bodily-Injury Coverage, in a limit per person and per accident. If you carry 300,000/500,000 in liability coverage in case you cause an accident, you can choose UM coverage in a lesser amount than your liability coverage. The question you have to ask yourself is: “Why would you cover someone else at a higher level than you would cover yourself.” For instance a $25,000/$50,000 UM policy means that the UM carrier will compensate injured persons up to $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident for all injured parties involved. UM coverage is normally available as such:

  • 25,000/$50,000
  • 100,000/$300,000
  • 300,000/$500,000

If you do not have UM coverage on your policy, you may qualify under another auto policy. If you are a passenger, you may qualify to use the “host: vehicle or “host” driver’s UM policy. You may also qualify under the Georgia resident relative provision. Ultimately, there are many ways to qualify for UM coverage depending on your independent circumstances and the language of the policy. It is important for you contact an experienced attorney who can review all of your options and explain if you can qualify for UM coverage.


Most UM policies also operate as Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. If you are injured by an at-fault driver due to his or her negligence, and the at-fault driver’s Liability coverage is insufficient to fair and reasonable amount of money (even if the adjuster tenders policy limits), you may be able to recover from a UIM policy.


Uninsured Motorist coverage is exceptionally important coverage to the auto owner and the occupants of his or her car. It is less important to the auto insurance industry as a whole. Consequently it is in coverage that insurance will companies do not regularly promote to their customers. Most people mistakenly believe that initiating a UM claim against his or her insurance company will raise his or her insurance rates. Nothing can be further from the truth. A UM claim is a not-at-fault claim and does not constitute a tick will against the insured’s policy. Further Georgia statute specifically prohibits raising an insured rates based upon a UM claim.


UM is a policy coverage provision for which the insured pays a premium a premium, and are entitled to use when necessary. When you contact The Danda Law Firm, we will meet with you personally, at no charge, and discussed every aspect of your insurance policy. As a courtesy, we offer clients a comprehensive review of their policies and recommendations regarding coverage to better protect yourself. Call The Danda Law Firm to find out if you qualify for a UM claim.


The Danda Law Firm in understands an injury is personal and can impact the entire family. We are prepared to immediately take action on your behalf and relieve you of the burden of dealing with the insurance company and the at-fault party who caused your injuries.

The Danda Law Firm is available to be your attorney and will represent you to the full extent under the law and provide you with a fair recovery which can only be authorized by you. There is no charge for an initial consultation. 


Plus, we are aware that you were injured and that your car has been damaged and may not be drivable.  Thus, we will meet with you at home, in the hospital or the place of your choice.  The Danda Law Firm is located in Metro Atlanta which allows us to conveniently serve you in Metro Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia.


The lawyers at The Danda Law Firm have been helping injured people in Atlanta and throughout Georgia recover their just financial compensation since 1979.  Call our office at 770.938.0977 or 800.983.8720.