By law, you are required to hold adequate liability coverage if you own a vehicle and drive in the state of Wisconsin. Still, not all drivers abide by this law. And for those who do not, other drivers are put at risk.
To see just how insured drivers are put at risk when uninsured drivers are on the road, here’s an example:
Let’s say that you live in Pewaukee but work in Milwaukee. On your daily commute, a driver cuts you off as you attempt to exit the highway. This causes your vehicle to spin out of control and crash into a highway divider. You’re okay, but you have cuts and bruises — plus, possible whiplash.
The at-fault driver stops too, and you assume that you’ll both be exchanging personal information. You’ll obtain the other driver’s insurance information so that you can make a claim. The accident was obviously their fault, which they openly admit.
To your surprise, however, the other driver says that they do not have any insurance.
At this point, you can already see where things are headed: The uninsured driver may get into trouble with the law for driving without insurance, but you’re up a creek without a paddle. There’s little you can do to recoup the medical expenses you’ll undoubtedly need to pay for your injuries.
What do you do now?
Your Only Option for Protection: UM/UIM Motorist Coverage
A type of car insurance called uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) is the only thing that can protect you in terrible situations like the one outlined above.
In fact, these situations happen all too often. One in seven drivers in the United States are driving without insurance.
Additionally, a large percentage of drivers do have insurance — but it’s not adequate to cover substantial payments for serious personal injuries or property damage. These are underinsured drivers. For example, let’s say you and your passengers were severely injured in an accident caused by an underinsured driver. Surgery, long-term physical therapy, and time off from work were required to heal.
An underinsured driver’s insurance plan wouldn’t be able to cover all of these expenses. Only UIM coverage (UIM coverage) could make up the difference.
Isn’t UM/UIM Coverage Already Required in Wisconsin?
Yes. Wisconsin law dictates that you must have both liability insurance and UM/UIM coverage in your car insurance plan. One problem, however, is that many people don’t have adequate limits on their UM/UIM coverage. Speak to your agent about making sure you have ample limits for this type of coverage.
What if My Vehicle Is Damaged?
Technically speaking, UM/UIM coverage covers only bodily injuries (personal injuries). For this reason, UM coverage is often called UMBI (uninsured motorist bodily injury) coverage. Likewise, UIM coverage is often referred to as UIMBI (underinsured motorist bodily injury) coverage.
Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) is a type of insurance that is available in some states to cover property damage caused by uninsured and/or underinsured motorists. This isn’t a coverage option that’s available in Wisconsin, however. Speak to your agent about obtaining collision insurance to provide this type of coverage.
Who Does UM/UIM Insurance Cover? Will It Cover My Passengers Too?
UM/UIM coverage naturally protects you, the driver of your vehicle and the insurance holder. It also usually protects other members of your household who are driving your vehicle, passengers in your vehicle at the time of the accident, and other individuals who you have approved to drive your vehicle. Still, this isn’t always the case, so review your policy to make sure you know who exactly is covered under your UM/UIM policy.
Looking for more information on UM/UIM coverage or car insurance, in general? Turn to your local, independent insurance agency, innovante insurance. Call or stop in today!