Should I Add Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist Cover To My Auto Insurance?

Should I Add Uninsured Motorist & Underinsured Motorist Cover To My Auto Insurance?
When you sign up for an auto insurance policy in Florida, your insurer is likely to ask you “Do you want to include UM and UIM on your policy?” UM (uninsured) and UIM (underinsured) motorist coverage costs only a few extra dollars per month on your premium and adds significant protection that can make a huge difference.
But there is more to be said about UM/UIM in order to understand what it does and does not do.

How UM/UIM Auto Insurance Works
Basic liability and PIP protection are built into the basic structure of legally required Florida auto insurance. But unlike in some other states, UM/UIM coverage are not required. Also, in Florida UM and UIM are always sold together, which isn’t true in all other states.

That said, it is possible your lender will require you to include UM/UIM on your policy, along with collision and comprehensive coverage.

UM pays for expenses stemming from an auto accident with another motorist who had no valid Florida auto policy, while UIM pays the expenses that go beyond the limits of a policy that the other driver did have. However, both UM and UIM apply only when the other driver was at fault.

Two Basic Types Of UM/UIM Coverage
There are actually two types, or components of, UM/UIM cover Bodily Injury and Property Damage. UMBI will cover you for personal injuries to yourself or your passengers when such injuries were caused by another driver. It will also help with lost income, rehab therapy, and expenses/losses arising from a wrongful death due to the accident.

UMPD helps pay for the damage to your car or other property when such damage was the fault of the other driver. Both types of UM/UIM are often rolled into the same overall package, but it varies from state to state and insurer to insurer.

Comparing UM/UIM To Other Types Of Coverage
It is important to understand how UM and UIM coverage lines up with other types of auto insurance coverage. It provides a valuable addition to your policy, but it doesn’t do everything.

UMBI will only kick in to help pay for medical bills if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Otherwise, your basic PIP coverage is going to take care of that. PIP applies regardless of who is at fault, while UM/UIM only applies if the other party was at fault. Also, realize that PIP limits are often too low to fully cover the bill, so adding UIM can often make up the difference.

Your health insurance policy will also help pay for medical bills related to a car accident, regardless of fault, but you will have to pay deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and other out of pocket expenses. So relying exclusively on health insurance may not be best.

Disability insurance will also help should you be injured in a car wreck and unable to work as before. But don’t discount the added assistance that UMBI can chip in to cover lost wages. Plus, realize that UMBI will pay out in the interim period (up to 90 days) before your first disability payment arrives.

Finally, UMPD can pay for property damage costs to your vehicle on top of your collision coverage. But UMPD only applies when the other driver is at fault, while collision applies regardless.

For more information on how UM & UIM coverage works, or to add it to your auto insurance today, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency!