Making insurance decisions isn’t always easy. Many drivers don’t know about uninsured motorist coverage until it is too late. Considering there are 6 million car accidents in the U.S. each year with 125,000 in Arizona alone. In Arizona alone, as of 2019 11.8% of the drivers are uninsured. Some recent reports put it at closer to 20%. This statistic continues to increase, which is alarming and a cause for concern.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
What happens if a driver hits your vehicle but has either no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover your costs? It depends on whether you have uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), both of which will provide you with financial protection. Many states require UM coverage, but it is optional in Arizona, New Mexico, California, Texas, Utah, and various other states.
What is Auto Collision Insurance?
If you have collision coverage on your vehicle, property damage to your vehicle caused by a collision could be covered, regardless of who is at fault. Even if you are the person responsible for collision damage in a single-vehicle accident, your insurance claim will be covered. The collision coverage deductible maybe $250, $500, or more. Usually, collision coverage does not cover punitive damages.
What is Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage?
Unfortunately, bodily injury is a possibility anytime a vehicle collision occurs. If you have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, there may be coverage for any passengers in your vehicle who were injured in a collision. However, you will usually be compensated for certain expenses, such as the following:
- Medical costs
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
You could be responsible to pay your own medical costs if you don’t have UMBI coverage. However, it’s possible you could file a claim for reimbursement. Talk to your Arizona auto insurance specialist to learn more.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) Cover?
If your vehicle or property becomes damaged and an uninsured driver is at fault, uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) insurance coverage will pay for the damage done. Some states also pay if you have UMPD insurance and a crash is caused by an underinsured driver. In most states, uninsured motorist property damage coverage also pays for costs incurred if damage is caused by a hit-and-run driver. A few states only pay in this circumstance if the hit-and-run driver is identified. These laws and policies change all of the time. Want to know what Arizona does? Talk to one of the team at Gebhardt Insurance today.
What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
If you are in a collision and the medical bills you end up paying for injuries you suffer cost more than the damage an underinsured motorist’s insurance pays, underinsured motorist coverage can fill the gap up to the limit amount. Most commonly, insurance companies will not allow you to carry more UM/UIM coverage than your own liability limits. To increase UM/UIM coverage, you must also increase your liability limits.
Most insurance experts recommend carrying at least 100/300/100 in liability coverage; the same amount is recommended for UM/UIM coverage. This will provide protection if you hit a vehicle with four people inside and they are all injured, if you are injured and in the hospital for several days, and various other common scenarios.
What are the Benefits of Collision Coverage?
A good way to realize the benefits of collision coverage is by understanding how limited your protection is without it. If you have uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) insurance coverage but not collision coverage, the only collision protection you would have would be
- Coverage up to a certain limit if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver, though the amount would be substantially lower than if you also had collision coverage; and
- If you are in a collision with a party who is confirmed to be at fault and is covered by insurance or otherwise pays for your damages.
Is Collision or Uninsured Motorist Insurance Better?
If you were going to have one or the other, as opposed to both, it is better to opt for collision insurance. Collision insurance will protect you in more collision scenarios than uninsured motorist coverage. For instance, regardless who is at fault in a crash, collision insurance coverage can be used to repair or replace your vehicle. Uninsured motorist insurance is only applicable in cases when an uninsured driver is at fault.
Our expert team of insurance specialists can help guide you in this complex and ever-changing environment. We will look at the options, your budgets and present to you the best offers from 40 or more carriers. We want you to be safe, protected and confident that if you were in an accident, everything you need would be taken care of.