UIM stands for “uninsured/underinsured motorist,” and is one of the most important forms of auto insurance coverage you can get.
Although Georgia and Alabama, like most states, only require drivers to purchase liability insurance to legally drive a car, we urge all drivers to purchase UIM coverage because it could make the difference between getting the compensation you need or getting nothing at all the next time you get in a crash that wasn’t your fault.
What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?
All drivers in Georgia and Alabama are legally required to have liability insurance. It provides you with compensation if someone else causes a crash and injures you. However, just because everyone is supposed to doesn’t mean everyone does. And knowing that the person who hit you is going to be in trouble with the law for not having it after a crash doesn’t help you, especially when you’re left with the bill for the injuries and damage they caused!
That’s where UIM coverage comes in. If you are in a crash, and the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance, you can file a claim to get compensation from your own insurance, even when the wreck wasn’t your fault.
What if you’re injured in a hit-and-run? UIM coverage applies there, too! While police and your attorney will try to identify the driver who hit you to get you compensation through their insurance, if they can’t be found, your UIM coverage will provide you compensation so long as you can either provide a witness or proof of impact.
What if you’re run off the road? UIM coverage can get you compensation, even if you don’t have contact with the other car. The same rules apply here as to hit-and-runs, so if you have a witness, you may be able to get compensation.
What about if the other driver does have insurance, but not enough? In Georgia and Alabama, drivers are only required to purchase up to $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
If you end up with $30,000 in hospital bills, you might have to pay the remaining $5,000 out of your own pocket if you don’t have UIM coverage. However, with UIM coverage, you can get compensation for any damages over the at-fault driver’s coverage limits from your own insurance.
So you can see why it’s so important to have this type of coverage, even if it’s not legally required. However, make sure you know what you are buying! Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are almost always packaged together, but double check that you aren’t only purchasing one type, as both are important.
How Much UIM Coverage Should I Buy?
Most insurance providers will sell UIM coverage in the same amount as your liability insurance coverage. For example, if you purchased the minimum liability for Georgia and Alabama, that’s $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person, and $50,000 per accident.
In fact, in Georgia your insurance company will typically always sell you UIM coverage in the same amount as your liability coverage unless you specifically opt out of buying it.
We recommend always purchasing UIM coverage, since it provides protection for you and your family from negligent drivers who don’t have any. Thankfully, UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive. The average cost nationally for UIM coverage is only 5% of your total auto insurance annual premium.
Hurt in a Crash? Call Gary Bruce.
Although UIM coverage is supposed to cover your expenses when the other driver can’t be identified or doesn’t have enough coverage, many victims of auto wrecks who find themselves in this situation find out that their insurance company may still try to deny them compensation.
When that happens, we step in. Contact the experienced Georgia and Alabama auto accident attorneys today to learn how we can help you get full compensation after a crash.