What Is Uninsured Motorist And Why Is It Important?

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Last year the Insurance Information Institute put out a report stating that in 2012 up to 12.6 percent of registered cars throughout the United States were uninsured. To put that into better context, that means that 1 in every 8 cars you see could theoretically be uninsured. If you don't already carry uninsured motorist coverage then it's a little scary to think that you might not be properly covered in the case of a severe accident.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Also sometimes referred to as underinsured motorist, this is a coverage that protects you in the case that an at-fault driver either doesn't have insurance or doesn't have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of an accident. A lot of people tend to forget about potential medical bills involved with a vehicle accident, so many people tend to carry either the state minimums for bodily injury and property damage, and some people go without completely.

Why It's Important

Now, this article couldn't possibly hope to help you determine who is at-fault in an accident -- that will almost always be decided between the insurance companies after the claim has been filed. A typical situation, however, has the at-fault driver pay for the repairs of both vehicles. In most cases this is the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Your insurance will pick up the tab if the driver doesn't have any insurance.

However, things begin to get a bit trickier if someone is injured because of the accident. In that case, if you're not at-fault, you'll find your Personal Injury Protection (if your state has it) pays up to 80% of your medical bills. After that you'll be covered by the limit listed on your medical bills coverage. Exceeding those combine limits, the at-fault party's insurance will cover up to its amount. Uninsured motorist coverage kicks in if the at-fault party either doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough to cover the rest of your bills.

Uninsured motorist is also a stackable coverage. That means that if you carry, say,  $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury on your uninsured motorist coverage, and you carry it on two vehicles, then you can use a combined $50,000 for one occurrence by stacking the coverage for each vehicle.

With so many vehicles out on the road that are either uninsured or underinsured, it doesn't pay to not carry this coverage on your policy. The additional premium is considerably less than it would be to try and raise other coverages to compensate, and it gives you peace of mind knowing you're completely covered. Contact a local auto insurance agent, such as one from Manassero Insurance Agency Inc, for further assistance.