It’s an unfortunate fact that not every driver on the road is insured. It’s an even bigger issue in Oklahoma than it is in other states - a full quarter of our drivers are on the roads without having even the required minimum coverage.
Being in a traffic accident is bad enough, but finding out the driver who hit you didn’t have insurance adds a whole new level of stress and worry. In those situations it may leave you thinking “What happens now?”
SEE ALSO: Are You Prepared For Total Loss?
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
When you purchased your auto policy you may have been asked about uninsured motorist coverage - assuming you elected it as part of your policy, this is the coverage that will come into play in the event you are in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured individual and the accident was their fault.
Uninsured motorist coverage covers your medical expenses and loss of income related to accidents with uninsured motorists. It does not cover damage to your automobile - that’s taken care of by the rest of your policy. However, it will cover your deductible.
This is an important safety net to have in place to keep you from being on the hook for expensive medical bills that should have been covered by the other driver’s insurance.
Even if they had minimum coverage, it’s possible that the payout won’t be enough and you’d be left with a gap. Uninsured motorist coverage helps in that situation as well.
Living in a state with so many uninsured drivers, having uninsured motorist coverage is always an idea. Depending on your budget, it may also be a good idea to boost your uninsured motorist coverage past the minimum offered.
When you’re buying a policy a good rule of thumb to follow is to match your auto liability coverage with your uninsured motorist coverage. Usually this means upping the liability coverage. This will help protect you in both situations - if you are at fault for the accident, or it was the other driver’s fault.
There are outlier situations where uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t help. If you’re a pedestrian and are hit by an uninsured driver, the only coverage that will help you is an existing health insurance policy and potentially the personal liability coverage of the driver (assuming they have a policy).
If you’d like to make sure that you have a level of uninsured motorist coverage that you’re comfortable with, give us a call and we can talk through your existing policy and potential options.