Why Under-Insured and Uninsured Coverage Matters When an Accident Occurs

When a car accident occurs in Illinois, drivers have no control over who’s involved with the incident or what kind of insurance they have. If you are involved in a vehicle-related accident, you may find that the responsible party has little or no insurance. Fortunately, there is a way you can protect yourself against situations like this: uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage.

Uninsured Coverage Matters

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage is an insurance option designed to protect you and your passengers. The coverage kicks in if an at-fault driver has no auto insurance, which is against the law in all 50 states. Under-insured motorist insurance coverage is intended to help you out if a responsible driver has coverage that’s not sufficient enough to fully cover your expenses.

It’s estimated that nearly 15 percent of drivers on the road are uninsured. While this figure may not seem all that significant, it means there’s a good chance at least one driver at a busy intersection may not have the auto insurance coverage they are legally required to have. But this is just the national average. In some states, this figure is higher.

4 Coverage Options

You have four basic options with coverage:

  1. UMBI—If you are injured by an at-fault, uninsured driver, medical expenses related to your injuries will be covered with uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage.
  2. UMPD—If your policy includes uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage, you’ll be covered for any damage to your vehicle caused by an at-fault driver without insurance.
  3. UIMBI—With under-insured motorist bodily injury (UIMBI), injuries are only covered if the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance.
  4. UNDPD—And if you opt for under-insured motorist property damage (UNDPD) coverage, repairs to your vehicle will be covered if the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance.

Under-insured and uninsured motorist coverage is sometimes combined as one type of coverage. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is required in many states. This type of coverage is beneficial because it also covers your medical expenses from accident-related injuries in the event of a hit-and-run accident, even if the responsible driver is not found. UMBI typically extends accident-related coverage to include lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses.

UMPD is worth considering if you don’t have collision coverage. However, vehicle damage coverage is typically less than what you would get with collision coverage. In some states, UMPD is required. UNDPD, however, is much less common since collision coverage usually offers better coverage. With under-insured coverage, your payout may be reduced based on what an under-insured at-fault driver was able to pay with their policy.

In Illinois, uninsured motorist coverage is required, but under-insured coverage normally is not. UMPD is not required either. However, Illinois does require under-insured motorist coverage if you opt for UM coverage with higher limits.

Regardless of what type of coverage you have the first thing to do after being involved in an auto accident is to ensure you get any medical assistance you may need. The next step to take is to contact an attorney from a trusted law firm serving Crystal Lake, IL, and McHenry and Boone Counties to explore your legal options. Even if a driver has little or no insurance, it may be possible to tap into other assets the driver has to obtain fair compensation for personal injuries and vehicle damage.