How Much Uninsured Motorist Coverage Should I Carry?
Pennsylvania is among the best states for motor vehicle insurance compliance according to the Insurance Research Council. Only an estimated seven percent of drivers in the commonwealth operate vehicles without the statutory minimum level of liability coverage. Compare that to 29 percent in New Mexico and 28 percent in Mississippi. However, there is still a chance you could get into an accident only to discover that the at-fault driver has no insurance or too little insurance to cover the total damage. At that point, you’ve got two options. You can sue the at-fault driver and attempt to attach assets, such as a home, to cover your losses, or you can file a claim on your own uninsured motorist coverage.
The first option may not be viable, because a person who has not purchased insurance often has no assets to protect. It may turn out that your defendant couldn’t get insurance because of prior DUIs and still has plenty of wealth to pay a court judgment, but that’s unlikely. It’s more likely that you’ll have to file a claim with your own insurance company — that is, if you’ve purchased uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage kicks in when an at-fault driver doesn’t have any or enough liability coverage to compensate your losses. Everyone should have this coverage, but it’s optional, so you can’t assume you have it. Just imagine you’re hit by an uninsured driver, and when you call your agent, you learn you never bought UM/UIM! What a double whammy that would be. So, if you have any doubts about whether you have this coverage, call your agent today!
This brings us to the question at the top of the post: how much coverage should you purchase? Imagine you have a terrible accident. How much would your losses amount to? What would it cost to replace your car? What would emergency room and hospital care cost? How good is your health insurance coverage? How long might you be out of work? How much of your savings are you prepared to part with to pay those bills? When you start to consider the actual costs, six figures worth of coverage does not seem excessive.
We recommend that our clients carry at least $100,000 worth of coverage per person per accident with a maximum of at least $300,000. Remember, this amount wouldn’t just cover you; it would also cover your family members in the car with you and other passengers, unless they had their own UM/UIM coverage.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured driver in western Pennsylvania, contact an experienced attorney at Rudberg Law Offices, LLC to schedule a free consultation.