Do You Have The Right UM Insurance? Do You Have Enough?
If you haven’t been, chances are at some point or another you will be involved in a car accident. Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a fender-bender with no injuries. But what if it’s not? What if it’s a bad wreck and you are injured? You hope the other driver has plenty of insurance, but in Georgia, drivers are only required to have $25,000 in liability coverage (“minimum limits”). So, what happens if you are seriously injured and $25,000 is not enough? Even worse, what if the other driver has no insurance?
This is why drivers should always have uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) insurance. The purpose of UM coverage is to provide you with additional coverage when the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough. That said, there are different types of UM insurance and in addition to often not having enough coverage, many people do not realize that the coverage they have could be greatly reduced or not available at all.
Add-On! Add-On! Add-On!
Aside from the amount of coverage, drivers purchasing insurance are given two options for UM coverage – “add-on” or “reduced-by” (also known as “offset”). These types of coverages operate just as their names suggest. With an add-on policy your UM coverage can be added to whatever insurance the other driver has regardless of the amounts of either policy. A reduced-by policy is reduced by the amount of the other driver’s liability coverage.
The only time you get the full value and limits under a reduced-by policy is when the other driver has no insurance. However, most drivers have at least the minimum limits or more. So, assume you are involved in a wreck and are hit by someone who has $25,000 in liability coverage – most drivers – and you have $25,000 reduced-by UM coverage. In this all-too-common scenario you cannot collect anything from your UM coverage. If it had been add-on policy, your UM coverage would be available. Yes, a reduced-by policy is slightly cheaper than an add-on policy, but usually only by a few dollars each month. However, the difference in available coverage after a serious wreck can be enormous. The only worthwhile option is an add-on policy. As the old saying goes, “Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”
With add-on coverage in place, the next question is what amount of coverage do you need? Obviously, this greatly depends on your personal budget and what you can afford. However, you should consider what you would do if you were seriously injured in a wreck and the other driver had no insurance or only the minimum limits? What amount would you want available to you to help cover your needs? Ask your insurance agent to provide you with quotes for different amounts of coverage and see what works for you and your budget. Additionally, ask how much it would cost to have an umbrella policy that not only provides you with additional liability coverage but one that will provide an additional layer of UM coverage. Whatever amount you choose, remember this is not the time to think about how much money you can save but rather what you might need if you are ever seriously injured in a car accident.
CKF Trial Attorneys
If you or a family member were seriously hurt in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact Cash Krugler Fredericks for a consultation about your case. Let our experienced injury attorneys handle your case while you and your family focus on healing and recovery.
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