Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is a first-party insurance policy that covers your damages incurred in a motor vehicle collision when the responsible third party has no insurance coverage of their own. Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is a first-party insurance policy that covers your damages incurred in a motor vehicle collision when the responsible third party does not have sufficient limits in their policy to cover your damages. UM and UIM policies are often purchased in tandem to protect the insured from both scenarios (i.e., no insurance or not enough coverage).
There are two types of UM coverage. One is uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and the other is uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). UMBI pays for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and general damages such as pain and suffering. UMPD pays for damages to your motor vehicle or other personal property after an accident with a third party with no insurance coverage available.
UM/UIM coverage is a relatively economical addition to a regular auto insurance policy considering the amount of protection afforded. Since nearly 13% of drivers nationwide are uninsured, it is a good idea to purchase UM/UIM coverage. It is recommended to purchase UM/UIM coverage with the same amount of coverage as your regular policy. Also, your amount of coverage should reflect the amount of assets you have. Thus, the more assets the higher policy limit coverage needed. Texas law requires a minimum UM coverage of $25,000.00 per person and $50,000.00 total per occurrence, and you can get a policy for upwards of $250,000.00 per person and $500,000.00 per occurrence if you so choose.
Although some states require UM/UIM coverage to be purchased, most states (including Texas) make it optional but require you to reject the coverage in writing if you choose not to pay for the coverage. The states that require UM/UIM coverage are as follows:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- Washington, D.C.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, our attorneys at MAS Law Firm will assist in identifying the various insurance coverage available to cover you for your loss and explain how the varying coverages can be used to fully compensate you for your loss and damages. MAS Law Firm will protect your rights and ensure that all coverages are utilized in order for you to be made whole after a motor vehicle collision. Injured clients can rely on our experience at MAS Law Firm to maximize the value of your case to ensure full compensation of your losses and damages.