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Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs. Underinsurance Motorist Coverage

We have all heard of these coverages, but do we know what they are and when they apply? Are your customers aware of their rights under their insurance policies? Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage covers insureds and their household family members when they are injured due to the negligence of another driver who is “uninsured”, or they are injured due to a “phantom” or “unidentified” driver who causes an accident and then leaves the scene of an accident or is otherwise unidentified. Uninsured Motorist coverage is usually (though it need not be) in the same amount as the liability coverage within an insured’s policy. It is important that a policyholder make sure that such coverage is equal to their liability coverage. If the coverage is not equal to that of the liability coverage, then one is covering someone else more so than they are covering themselves. Underinsurance Motorist (UIM) is for when another driver injures the insured or a household family member and they do not have enough coverage to pay for the damages. Underinsured Motorist coverage generally comes in the same amount as the UM coverage. Never will an insurance company provide higher amounts of UM or UIM than they provide liability coverage. That is why, in general, it is good to have higher liability limits- it protects you from someone suing you and protects you and your family in the event that one is injured by the negligence of another who is not adequately insured. You can be assured that if another driver is not adequately insured then they certainly do not have the assets to cover a substantial claim. If anyone has any questions about UM v. UIM coverage please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Mitchell H. Portnoi at 908-228-8800 x-1007.

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