Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional insurance policy that provides protection in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. As of July 1, 2023, all Virginia vehicle owners will be required to have auto insurance, however, that does not mean everyone will obey this law.
The following are some of the key factors why it is a smart idea to have uninsured/underinsured vehicle insurance (UM/UIM).
Inadequate Insurance Coverage
Despite the legal requirement for drivers to carry auto insurance in many jurisdictions, there are still individuals who drive without insurance or have insufficient coverage. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be left with significant financial burdens for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver involved in a collision flees the scene without providing their insurance information. In such cases, it can be challenging to identify the responsible party and pursue compensation. Uninsured motorist coverage can help protect you in these situations by providing coverage for your damages, even if the other driver cannot be located or identified.
Medical Expenses and Loss of Income
If you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you may face substantial medical expenses and potential loss of income due to the inability to work. Uninsured motorist coverage can help alleviate the financial burden by providing compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages.
Even if the at-fault driver has insurance, their policy limits may not be sufficient to cover all of your expenses. In such cases, underinsured motorist coverage can bridge the gap between the at-fault driver’s policy limits and your actual damages, ensuring that you receive appropriate compensation for your injuries and losses.
Peace of Mind
Car accidents can happen unexpectedly, and being involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can be frustrating and stressful. Having uninsured motorist coverage gives you peace of mind, knowing that you have an additional layer of protection if you are involved in an accident with a driver who lacks adequate insurance coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is typically affordable compared to other types of auto insurance. The cost of this coverage is often minimal compared to the potential financial impact of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It provides valuable protection and can save you from significant financial hardships in the long run.
While uninsured motorist coverage is not always legally required, some states have laws that mandate the inclusion of uninsured motorist coverage in auto insurance policies. Virginia is one of those states and does require this insurance for every vehicle.
Potential Legal Challenges
Pursuing legal action against an uninsured or underinsured driver to recover compensation can be challenging and time-consuming. It may involve filing a lawsuit, locating assets, and enforcing judgments. Having uninsured motorist coverage can simplify the process by providing a direct avenue for seeking compensation without relying on the at-fault driver’s resources.
Uninsured motorist coverage is often included as part of a comprehensive auto insurance policy that offers various types of coverage, including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. By bundling your coverage, you can enjoy the benefits of comprehensive protection against a range of risks on the road.