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What is the difference between Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Attorney Charlie Contrada has more than 35 years of experience handling car accident lawsuits. He has handled nearly every type of accident you could imagine and has helped thousands of car accident victims receive the justice and compensation that they deserve.

As an experienced car accident lawyer, attorney Contrada knows a great deal of information regarding car insurance coverage and how it comes into play after an accident. With this extensive knowledge, his biggest piece of advice to motorists when it comes to buying car insurance policies is to make sure that they have Uninsured and Underinsured coverage as this is the most important coverage to protect you and your family. It is usually the least expensive part of the policy, yet it gives you and your family the most protection.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), even though it is required by law in many states, one in seven drivers do not have car insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your family in the event that you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. This coverage helps to pay your bills after a vehicle accident if the person at-fault does not have insurance to cover the damages.

As the Department of Motor Vehicles explains, the expenses that this coverage includes are as follows:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

It is important that your Uninsured motorist coverage is as high as your liability coverage. Most policies only allow you to buy as much as your liability. Because this coverage is offered at a low cost, attorney Charlie Contrada recommends buying as much Uninsured motorist coverage as you can get.

If you have an umbrella policy above and beyond your underlying coverage, make sure your umbrella policy includes Uninsured and Underinsured coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is important because it protects you, your passengers, and authorized drivers on the policy. However, this does not protect you against someone who is underinsured with minimum state liability insurance, which still puts you and your family at a financial risk.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage protects you and your family in the event that you are in an accident and the at-fault driver has low liability limits. This type of insurance includes bodily injury and sometimes includes property damages.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is too low to cover the injuries that you have sustained in the accident, Underinsured motorist coverage helps you. A situation in which this coverage would be utilized is if you were injured in an accident caused by a driver with insufficient insurance. If their policy limit is $25,000, yet your claim is worth $65,000, your Underinsured motorist coverage would cover the difference of $40,000.

Purchasing Underinsured & Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Many motorists are not fully informed when it comes to this portion of their car insurance policy. Attorney Charlie Contrada believes that if people knew all of the facts surrounding this type of car insurance, a great majority would purchase it for protection.

Before tort reform, the old Ohio law required insurance companies to have motorists sign a waiver explaining that Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage was explained to them in full, but they did not want to purchase it. This is not the case anymore, resulting in motorists carrying policies that do not fully protect them.

It is extremely important for motorists to review their car insurance policy with their agent to ensure that they have both Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage. If you do not purchase this type of car insurance, there is a possibility that you could potentially find yourself and your passengers in a financially troubling position.

Attorney Charlie Contrada reminds you to not shop car insurance solely based on price or catchy television advertisements. Sit down with your insurance agent and review your entire policy so you know your options and choose the coverage that suits you and your family’s needs. 

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Attorney Charlie Contrada has been practicing law since 1979, focusing his career on personal injury, car accident, and mesothelioma cases. Over the years, Charlie has helped thousands of clients throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to receive the settlements that they deserve.

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