Many people don’t fully appreciate what Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance covers or why they really need it as an essential part of their Personal Auto Policy (PAP).
Idaho and Washington are among the 49 states that legally require all drivers to have mandatory auto liability insurance. Despite that, about one out of every eight drivers do not carry auto liability coverage; in some states, that number is one out of five. Hit and runs, drunk or impaired drivers, old vehicles without proper maintenance - the odds are high that you or a family member may suffer bodily injury or a significant financial loss caused by an uninsured driver. There have been so many of these uninsured accidents that UM/UIM coverage is now required and considered critical financial protection on your auto insurance policy.
UM/UIM COVERAGE NOW REQUIRED TO BE OFFERED IN IDAHO AND WASHINGTON STATES
Both Idaho and Washington states now require that all car insurance policies must include uninsured motorist coverage (UM), in an amount equal to the policyholder's chosen public liability coverage limit for bodily injury, unless this coverage is waived in writing by the policyholder. Uninsured Motorist insurance was specifically designed to protect you and your family under three specific circumstances:
UM COVERAGE PAYS YOU FROM YOUR OWN POLICY
Specific options for uninsured motorist coverage vary by state and insurer, but in general there are three types of protection available.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance – Also known as Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) insurance, this coverage will pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills and other compensation if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist who is at fault. UM coverage also pays if, as a pedestrian, you are hit by an uninsured driver, or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) protection – An at-fault driver may have liability insurance, but their policy limits do not cover the full extent of the bodily injury claim for you or your passengers. UIM insurance will cover the “underinsured” shortfall up to your own UIM limit.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage – Remember, Uninsured Motorist insurance covers bodily injuries, notdamage to your car or property. So, for your vehicles without collision coverage, you need UMPD coverage to pay for physical damage caused by an uninsured driver. Generally, UMPD also covers the uninsured auto damage to other personal property like your house or your fence.
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The content of FAQ articles are general in nature and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal, financial, or insurance counsel for individuals. Insurance coverage forms vary by issuing company and by state. For specific advice contact us.
American Insurance is an independent insurance agency with offices in Lewiston and Moscow, Idaho.