When it comes to car insurance, most people are familiar with the basics: liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. But what about uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage? This type of coverage is often overlooked, but it can provide crucial protection in the event of an accident. In California, it’s especially important to consider UIM coverage because of the high number of uninsured drivers on the road. Here we explain some of the benefits of UIM coverage.
California Uninsured Drivers
According to the Insurance Research Council, around 15% of California drivers are uninsured. That means that if you’re involved in an accident with one of these drivers, they may not have the means to pay for your damages. Even if they do have insurance, their coverage limits may not be enough to cover the cost of your injuries or property damage.
UIM Coverage Protects You
This is where UIM coverage comes in. It provides protection in the event that you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. It can help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that you may incur. UIM coverage can also step in if you’re hit by a hit-and-run driver or a driver who flees the scene of the accident.
UIM Coverage Is Not Mandatory
It’s worth noting that UIM coverage is not mandatory in California, but it is required by law that insurance companies offer it to their policyholders (California Insurance Code 11580.2). And it can be added to your policy for an additional cost.
California Code Section 11580.2 (d) states that the coverage is mandatory if the underlying limits of the liability insurance policy is less than the bodily injury limits of the UIM coverage, in this case it is recommended that the policyholder should opt for the UIM coverage.
Family Benefits from UIM Coverage
Another benefit of UIM coverage is that it can also provide protection for your passengers and family members. If they’re injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, your UIM coverage can help pay for their medical expenses and lost wages. It can also provide coverage for death benefits if a family member is killed in an accident.
It’s important to keep in mind that UIM coverage does not just protect you when you’re in your own vehicle. It can also provide protection if you’re hit as a pedestrian or if you’re riding in someone else’s car. If someone injures you with their vehicle and they are uninsured, then UIM coverage may apply.
UIM coverage may not be mandatory in California, but it’s an important type of coverage to consider. With the high number of uninsured drivers on the road, it can provide crucial protection in the event of an accident. It can help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. It can also provide protection for your passengers and family members, as well as protection from potential lawsuits. And California law requires insurance companies to offer it to their policyholders. So, it’s worth discussing this coverage with your insurance agent to determine if it’s right for you.