What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Written By: John L. Ward, Esq.
Did you know that in the State of New Hampshire you do not need to carry auto insurance?
A study in 2012 found that 9.3 percent of New Hampshire residents do not carry insurance. I have seen this too frequently in my practice as many of my clients are hit by somebody who does not have auto insurance or adequate coverage.
That is why uninsured/under-insured coverage motorist coverage is so important! Uninsured motorist coverage can provide compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering as a result of an uninsured negligent driver. I recommend that you review your auto policy to make sure that you have adequate uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is usually very inexpensive and you can increase your coverage by $100,000 or more for only a few dollars a year. Protect yourself and your family by getting uninsured motorist coverage.
You also want to review your policy to make sure you have adequate under-insured motorist coverage which provides protection if you are injured by a negligent driver who does not carry enough insurance to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.
For example, suppose you are in a car accident and you incur $50,000 in medical bills. If the negligent driver carries liability insurance with a policy limit of $25,000, the negligent driver is under-insured. In a situation like this, you would need to make an under-insured motorist claim on your own auto policy.
Tip: If you do not have auto insurance or if you have inadequate coverage, do you live with anybody that does? Most insurance policies allow you to use a member of your household’s policy to cover any uninsured/under-insured losses. I frequently see this with young adults who are involved in accidents, many do not have their own coverage and I have been successful at filing a claim under their parent’s policy.
Finally, it is important to give notice as soon as possible to an insurance carrier if you are going to make an uninsured or under-insured motorist claim. Most policies have very strict time frames for filing a claim and it is important you don’t miss any deadlines!