If you’re in a crash caused by an uninsured driver or you’re involved in a hit-and-run crash, it pays to have an uninsured motorist policy. Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, helps you pay for damages, including injuries you or your passengers suffer, caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance.
Americans are driving more and more. Meanwhile, the percentage of uninsured drivers is crawling upward. Did you know 1 in 8 or about 13 percent of drivers are uninsured? Crashes, injuries, and fatalities all saw at least a 4 percent increase in North Carolina from previous years.
The possibility of being hit by an uninsured motorist is a very real concern. While collision coverage will likely pay for damage to your car if an uninsured driver hits it, your claim check will likely be reduced by the amount of your collision deductible. Health insurance will also pay for medical treatment after a car wreck, but again, it depends on your policy. It’s unwise to wait for an accident or emergency to worry about who and how everything will be paid for.
North Carolina requires drivers to have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) as well as uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). While this may seem like an inconvenience, it’s actually a proactive way to protect yourself, your passengers, and your property. These are relatively minor costs compared with the extensive repair or medical bills from the result of a crash. Anywhere from 20-50 million people are injured or disabled as a result of car accidents each year.
Opting into an uninsured motorist policy doesn’t drastically increase your overall bill and think about it: if an uninsured driver isn’t paying for insurance, do you think he or she will be able to cover damages after an accident? Probably not. NerdWallet analyzed car insurance rates in several states for 30-year-old motorists with clean driving records. They found that California had the highest rate increase after adding these coverage options, roughly $9 per month and Illinois had the cheapest, at around $3 extra per month.
If you think you’re a great driver and an accident will never happen to you, think again. There are a host of reasons why automobile accidents happen every day. Most accidents are caused by distracted, intoxicated, and hurried drivers. Just because you are a great driver does not mean you are able to avoid the 250,000+ accidents that happen in our state each year alone. You actually have a likelihood of being involved in four car accidents over the course of your life.
Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in North Carolina for limits of $30,000. There is hardly a week that goes by that we do not have clients that do not have a desperate need for uninsured motorist coverage and/or underinsured motorist coverage. We recommend to all our clients that they purchase $1 million of combined uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. The cost of the premium is very reasonable for $1 million of coverage. That way you are protected whether the responsible driver has no insurance or simply does not have enough insurance. Either way, you and your family would then be protected up to $1 million for your injuries, death, or damages. Being involved in an automobile accident is stressful enough. Before the inevitable happens, make sure you’re properly covered.
Oliver and Sherrie M. – Car Accident
“We were hit head-on by someone who run a red light. I got bruised up real bad inside and I had just had shoulder surgery and it inflamed that. My wife was hurt the worst. It disfigured her right arm. We were referred to Mr. West through our son-in-law so we went up and set an appointment with him. We went in and met him for the first time and he is a very nice gentleman to say the least. He took over the case and found out who the [driver] was. It had totaled the car and I had just gotten it paid off. They didn’t even get hurt. Mr. West took the case and went way out of his way to help. The lady who hit us … they had only the cheapest insurance to get the car on the road … so he helped us get more money to help us pay the bills. We are very happy with how it turned out. Kelly and West, they’re good people. You can talk to them and they’re down home people.”