Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
June 13, 2018
Uninsured and Underinsured coverage is a kind of auto insurance coverage you can opt to purchase. It is designed to protect you against specific losses should you have an accident. Specifically, losses as a result of an accident that happens in which:
That the accident is primarily the other driver’s fault.
The other driver has no liability insurance at all. (Which is against the law in Texas).
The other driver does not carry enough liability insurance of their own to cover all of your losses.
Texas Law Requires Automobile Liability Insurance
Texas law requires you to have automobile liability insurance, which is the insurance that pays for the other person’s expenses if you cause an accident.
Your minimum liability of coverage required to others in Texas is:
$30,000 per injured person.
With up to a maximum of $60,000 for all injured persons in the same accident,
And $25,000 for property damage. The industry shorthand for this coverage is 30/60/25.
But in reality, some people drive without insurance at all
In theory, every driver on Texas highways is covered by liability insurance to protect other drivers. However, in reality, some people drive without insurance, or they just “hit and run”. Even if they have the minimum coverage required by law, it is often not enough to cover the other driver’s damages. As a result, this is where uninsured coverage and underinsured coverage come in.
An Uninsured Driver
An uninsured driver is someone who has no insurance. Consequently, many drivers without insurance will just “hit and run”.
An Underinsured Driver
An underinsured driver is one who does have liability insurance, but in an amount that is not enough to cover your damages in a particular situation.
For example, a negligent driver might have 30/60/25 minimum coverage. But be found liable for $50,000 in damages to you individually. If you have underinsured coverage, it would pay you the $25,000 difference.
Texas Law Gives You the Right.
Texas law gives you the opportunity to buy insurance coverage to protect yourself against both uninsured and underinsured motorists. This coverage is optional, but your insurer must offer you the opportunity to purchase it. Also, your refusal to purchase it must be made by you in writing.
The coverage protects you and those important to you.
This coverage protects you, your family members, passengers in your vehicle, and anybody driving your vehicle with your permission. It pays for:
Your medical and funeral expenses.
Car rental should you need a temporary replacement to yours.
The replacement of damaged contents in your vehicle.
Your lost wages.
Any pain and suffering that you may have.
Finally, it pays for your permanent or partial disability up to the dollar limits that you have purchased.
Talk to Your Insurance Agent
You can buy uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in the minimum amount or in a larger amount up to the same dollar limits of your liability policy.
If you are not sure what choice you made when you were offered the opportunity to buy this coverage, talk to your insurance agent.
If they don’t have enough money to be legal, they probably don’t have enough money to cover any of your losses.
Your liability coverage protects you from having to pay damages to someone if you cause an accident. Your liability policy will not pay your expenses resulting from an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Uninsured motorists often have few assets, and you could face significant financial hardship if you do not have this coverage and you are injured by such a driver.
Even if the other driver has liability insurance, it may be only the minimum amount. Furthermore, this coverage can quickly be exhausted. Medical care is very expensive. The replacement cost of even a single vehicle easily can be $30,000 or more these days. Your underinsured coverage kicks in to pick up all or part of the difference once the other person’s liability limits are exhausted.
Purchase at least the minimum amount of both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Finally, if possible, have as much uninsured and underinsured coverage as you have liability coverage. This may be your only protection against uninsured and underinsured motorists. And should you ever need it, you’ll bless the day you bought it.
Contact an attorney at Messina Law Firm immediately if you have been injured in any type of automobile accident. We will help you determine the negligence involved and if there is adequate insurance from all parties to cover your losses. Furthermore, we will do so, with no fee until we win your case.