Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Protect Your Family with Adequate Limits

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Protect Your Family with Adequate Limits

February 13, 2013
By jhartle@lgslaw.net

Often times, when people purchase automobile insurance, they also purchase what is known as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage.  However, many people have no idea was this coverage is and what it covers.  The purpose of Uninsured Motorist coverage is to provide protection to you and your family if you have the unfortunate circumstance of being in an automobile accident with a person who recklessly failed to have any insurance coverage at all.  Similarly, Underinsured Motorist coverage provides protection to you and your family in situations where the at-fault driver did have insurance, but not enough to cover your and your family’s damages.

Ohio law currently allows Ohio drivers to purchase bodily injury liability insurance with minimum limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, which are among the lowest in the country (Any policy issued before January 1, 2014 only requires minimum limits of $12,500/person & $25,000/accident).  What this means is that if a driver with minimum limits causes you injuries, the most that you will receive from that driver’s insurance company is $25,000, even if your damages far exceed this amount.  And if more than one person is injured due to the driver’s negligence, the most that will be paid is $25,000 to any one person and no more than $50,000 combined to all injured parties.

With the ever increasing costs of medical care, especially a trip to the emergency room, such minimum limits are often times not enough to cover the expenses that you and your family incur because of the negligence of the person who caused the automobile accident.
Unfortunately, we have seen numerous cases over the years where insurance agents fail to tell their customers about Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage and the customer never buys it, or the agent sells the coverage to the customer, but at such low limits that it affords little, if any, protection for you and your family.

We recommend that every driver has minimum Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.  Ideally, we would suggest that you purchase limits of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.  Most often, increasing your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage limits only adds a few more dollars a month to your premiums.  We also recommend that every driver maintain umbrella coverage which provides for excess Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage of an additional $1 Million.  Umbrella policies are generally inexpensive, and a great way to protect you and your family, as well as your personal assets.
Too often we have to tell clients who have been seriously injured that there simply is not enough insurance to compensate them and their family for the injuries they sustained in an automobile accident.  Do not let this happen to you.  It is very important that you call your insurance agent or company today, and make sure that you and your family are adequately protected.










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