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What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why Do You Need It?

By Aline Miranda on February 11, 2013

I always tell my clients, relatives, and friends that Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is the most important type of insurance they will ever purchase. The reason is simple: California law only requires drivers to carry minimum liability coverage of $15,00 for injury claims. If you are seriously injured in a car accident, this minimum coverage may not be enough to compensate you for your injury.

According to some sources, 1 out of 6 California drivers does not carry auto insurance at all. Many more carry only the minimum coverage, which is unlikely to be enough in the event of a serious injury. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or minimally-insured driver, who will compensate you for your injury? The answer may surprise you: your auto insurance.

By law, your auto insurance policy must automatically include uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. However, the same law also allows you to delete this additional coverage by declining the coverage in writing. Your insurance company or agent may tell you doing so will save you money in premiums, but UM/UIM coverage actually is fairly inexpensive and can provide invaluable protection in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney at once to ensure that your rights are protected. This is especially important if the at-fault driver lacks proper insurance coverage. Remember, during the winter months, snowbirds flock to California to escape the cold and snow. Make sure you are protected against uninsured and underinsured snowbirds who will be sharing the roads with you. If you do not have the proper coverage, contact your insurance carrier at once to adjust your policy.