Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM) – It Protects YOU!
You follow the rules of the road and take precautions to protect yourself while riding. But have you protected yourself against the underinsured or uninsured driver?
When a car turns left in front of you and your motorcycle slams into it, who’s going to pay? Sure, the other person is at fault, but what if that person carries only minimum liability insurance of $30,000, or worse, doesn’t have any insurance at all? If your medical bills are $50,000 or over, and you’ve missed a couple weeks or more of work, who pays?
UM/UIM insurance protects YOU in these situations. It’s an important part of every motorcycle owner’s safety plan that often gets overlooked.
The Edwards Law Firm has made it its mission to inform motorcyclists about the dangers of carrying no or too little UM/UIM motorcycle insurance. No, we don’t sell insurance, but we’ve seen the medical and financial hardships that happen when a motorcyclist doesn’t safeguard himself or herself financially from non-insured or underinsured car and truck drivers.
One out of seven motorists on the road does not carry any insurance at all. Many more carry only the minimum required by law. In the event of a serious collision, this insurance money likely will not fully cover the losses of the motorcyclist. To protect themselves, all motorcycle owners should carry UM/UIM insurance.
Motorcycle policies can have several components:
- Liability Insurance This insurance protects you if you’re found at fault in an accident. It pays the other person’s damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Med-Pay Insurance This is no-fault insurance – it pays you regardless of who is at fault. PIP pays you (or your passenger) for medical expenses or lost income that result from a wreck. Med-Pay is the same as PIP, except it pays only for medical expenses, not lost income.
- UM/UIM Coverage This insurance pays you your damages, such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, if the other person is at fault in an accident and the other person is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance to fully pay your losses. UM/UIM coverage usually matches the limits of your basic liability insurance, so the higher your limit the better.
- Physical Damage Coverage This insurance is usually broken into collision loss, which covers physical damage to your motorcycle in an accident with another vehicle, and comprehensive loss, which covers other types of physical damage, such as striking an animal. It is no-fault insurance – it pays no matter who is at fault.
Review Your Policy Carefully
Insurance laws vary by state, and types of insurance policies abound. Ask your agent specifically what your insurance would cover if you are hurt on your motorcycle, or hurt someone else. Take notes on the answers, date them and file them away in case you have an accident and the money doesn’t come in as promised. This will help in any negotiations or legal actions that may arise in the event of a conflict with your insurance company. Most importantly, read your insurance policy when your receive it. Make sure it shows that you are paying a premium for each type of coverage that you want:
- PIP or Med-Pay
- UM/UIM Coverage
- Physical Damage Coverage
If the policy doesn’t show a premium charged to you for each type of coverage, you probably don’t have it. Don’t rely on the agent who tells you that he sold you “full coverage.” That can mean different things. Instead, make sure you are paying for each type of coverage – then you know you’ve got it!