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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Auto Accidents and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

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Having uninsured motorist coverage or under-insured motorist coverage if you are involved in a car accident or car crash is a very important way to protect yourself from someone else’s negligence.

Today’s Blog is on a subject that is near and dear to my heart. A subject that, all to often, I discuss after an auto accident with very unhappy clients. This Blog is addressing, in California at least, the very real possibility that if you are involved in an auto accident there’s a high probability the person who is at fault for the accident does not have auto insurance coverage. So, you ask, what do you do if the person responsible doesn’t have auto insurance? The answer, very simply, is to rely on your own auto insurance coverage. In California in addition to having liability insurance (that protects you if you hit someone, you can purchase UNINSURED OR UNDER-INSURED motorist coverage. This is often referred to as UM or UIM coverage. The key to this coverage is to make sure whatever your underlying liability insurance coverage amounts are you REPLICATE for your UM coverage. So, for example if your primary liability insurance is 100/300 make darn sure your UM/UIM coverage is ALSO 100/300. Often times insurance agents will sell you 100/300 liability but 15.30 UM/UIM. Why would you ever want to protect yourself for less than what you protect others for?

Insurance agents and companies are required by law to offer uninsured motorist coverage when you buy auto insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for bodily injuries caused by an uninsured motorist or a hit and run driver who is legally responsible for the accident. In most states, it also applies to injuries caused by a motorist whose insurance company is insolvent.

This coverage applies to you, family members and guests in the car. It also provides protection when you are in someone else’s car or if you are hit while walking. Your insurance company will pay for damages to injured persons up to the minimum limits prescribed by the financial responsibility laws of your state. Higher limits may be available.