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Importance of Auto Insurance Uninsured Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is required in some states, but in many states it is just an optional area of auto insurance coverage. Still, even where there is no law making it compulsory for drivers to carry uninsured coverage it is worthwhile to take a close look at this policy endorsement to decide if it is right for you. Uninsured motorist protection adds a valuable component of insurance coverage to an auto policy. Drivers often complain that they should not have to pay money for protection that should be someone else's responsibility. And there is certainly some logic to this argument.

But because of the way laws are framed in most states, there is not really a whole lot of protection given to the law abiding motorists who carry adequate insurance when they are struck by uninsured drivers. Quite often the only chance you have of ever getting compensated for your property losses and medical expenses is to file suit. This option takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, and usually results in the attorneys ending up with a large part of whatever settlement they might be able to recover. And there is no guarantee of winning.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Guarantees Protection

Unlike the prospect of a civil suit, an uninsured motorist policy guarantees protection for the covered driver. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver and that driver was at fault for the collision, your uninsured policy will pay out for the losses that would normally be the responsibility of the negligent driver's liability insurance. Some states mandate both bodily injury and property damage uninsured motorist protection, while in other states drivers can choose just one or the other (or both). In any case, the protection provided by this kind of coverage is tremendously valuable because in combination with a quality liability policy, it essentially guarantees that your financial interests will be represented and protected in the aftermath of any auto accident.

Auto insurance or financial responsibility in one form or another is required in every state across the country. However, without effective enforcement of auto insurance laws, the rate of motorists driving without adequate protection can be quite high. Numbers vary from state to state depending on the extent to which the state government and law enforcement makes it a priority to combat the problem; but there are drivers without insurance all across the country.

If an uninsured motorist causes an accident that leads to property damage and/or medical expenses for the other drivers or passengers involved, those parties have a few choices on how they can take care of these financial damages. One is to simply pay them out of pocket. More drivers choose this route than you may think. These are the ones who have no uninsured motorist protection and who do not relish the prospect of a long and drawn out court case. Another option is to sue. This is perfectly legal, but surely not a guaranteed method of recovering losses. And the third tactic is to use uninsured motorist insurance to pay for the expenses.

Drivers operating their vehicles without proper and adequate legally binding auto coverage face the possibility of fines, license and registration revocation, and even probation or jail time depending on the laws of the state. Yet many still take a chance for many different reasons (though most of them are probably essentially financial in nature). If one of these drivers causes an accident leading to medical expenses and property losses to others, the big question would be who would pay for all of those losses? Uninsured and underinsured protection fit right in with these types of scenarios. Like auto insurance in general, this coverage is something motorists hope they never have to use, but are very glad they have when circumstances dictate a claim.

Explanation of Uninsured/Underinsured Protection

Uninsured motorist insurance, as previously explained, comes into play in an accident situation when the at fault driver does not carry any liability insurance. Underinsured is similar in that it takes care of excess liability costs when that uninsured driver's liability policy is insufficient to handle all losses. In many cases, drivers only purchase the state minimum liability protection, which is often not enough to pay for all losses.

These parts of an auto policy only come into use when the covered driver is not at fault and when the other (negligent) driver is either not insured or has insufficient coverage to handle all expenses. Although it is true that adding this coverage adds expense to your auto policy, it might be worth doing anyway just to guarantee payment in these types of cases. It is better to increase your premium a bit than to risk huge out of pocket loss expenses.

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