Getting in an accident is never an easy situation to deal with. Recovering from an injury is tough enough as it is, but having to deal with insurance companies can be a nightmare. This is only further compounded when the other driver involved in the accident doesn’t have any insurance. That’s where uninsured motorist (UI) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance comes into play. What are UI and UIM exactly? Learn more about these two essential insurance policies, and discover why you need them before driving around Waukesha, Wisconsin.
The Problem of Uninsured Drivers
Uninsured drivers are a problem in just about every state in the country, and Wisconsin is no exception. When you’re on the road here, you’ll find that about 14.3 percent of all drivers have inadequate insurance coverage. Only 14 other states have a higher rate of uninsured drivers, so you’ll be in a much better position when you’re covered for these types of accidents.
The problem of uninsured drivers perpetuates for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, it’s caused by economic uncertainty. Drivers don’t want to spend money they feel like they can get away with saving. Insurance companies deferring billing leads to increased deductibles as well, which can cause people to drop their insurance entirely. Additionally, the low end of available insurance policies in Wisconsin may not cover the potential damages from a serious accident.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
Uninsured motorist coverage comes in two primary forms. The first is uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. As the name suggests, this exists to cover injuries that you and other passengers may sustain in an accident that was caused by a driver without sufficient insurance. Keep in mind that coverage for injuries can include more than just medical bills. Lost wages and non-economic factors like pain and suffering may be included as well.
The second form of uninsured motorist coverage is for property damage. It’s important to remember, however, that this only applies to property damage sustained in an accident with an at-fault uninsured driver in which you can identify the other driver. In the case of a hit and run, this coverage won’t apply. Keep in mind that most mentions of UI only include coverage for injuries. Property damage coverage is expressed differently as UMPD.
The Benefit of Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Put simply; underinsured motorist coverage is insurance designed to protect you in case the other driver’s insurance is unable to meet the full costs of your damages. For example, if you sustained $70,000 worth of injuries and the at-fault driver’s coverage has a $50,000 limit, the remaining $20,000 would be covered by underinsured motorist insurance.
Safety Responsibility Law
Wisconsin has additional protections for drivers involved in accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers as explained by the state’s Safety Responsibility Law. This law dictates that any accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver must be reported as soon as possible. If the Department of Motor Vehicles can confirm fault, the uninsured driver can lose their license entirely if they don’t do the following:
- Agree to cover damages in installments.
- Request a hearing to contest the DMV’s findings.
- Submit evidence of a settlement.
- Submit a security deposit to cover judgments.
Find Your Own UI and UIM Coverage
You now know what UI and UIM are, so it’s time to get some for yourself. Working with the experts at G&L Insurance can help you find the perfect policy for your unique needs. Get a quote today!