Besides liability coverage which covers a driver for crashes they cause, every Maryland driver is required to have uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) as a part of their auto insurance. This coverage helps to protect drivers who may be the victim of a driver who has no insurance policy; however, UM coverage is also valuable in other scenarios. Here, the auto accident attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz detail what you should know about UM coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Be Used in Multiple Scenarios
In Maryland, the minimum amount of UM coverage drivers must purchase is $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury per accident and $15,000 for property damage. Although this is mandated by law, nearly one in eight drivers nationwide are without auto insurance. If you are the victim in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, your UM coverage will help cover any property damage or bodily injury sustained. The victim of a hit-and-run accident can also use UM coverage to ensure their expenses are covered if the at-fault driver is unable to be identified, as in a hit-and-run crash.
A less-known but extremely valuable use for UM coverage is in instances where an at-fault driver is underinsured. In Maryland, drivers are only required by law to have $30,000 of coverage for bodily injury per person, $60,000 of coverage for bodily injury per accident and $15,000 of coverage for property damage. Unfortunately, many auto accidents can cause far more than this amount in damage, which an under-insured driver’s coverage would not be able to cover. If you are involved in an accident and an underinsured driver is at fault, the total of their coverage, as well as additional UM coverage you have purchased, may be used to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and any other accident-related expenses and damages.
Some Insurance Companies May Not Fully Explain UM Coverage Options
Under Maryland law, UM coverage is required to be provided at the liability coverage level, meaning the total amount of coverage mirrors the amount of liability coverage a driver has. So, if a driver has $100,000 worth of liability coverage, the insurance company will provide $100,000 in UM coverage. Because UM coverage can often result in a net loss for the insurance company, many insurance companies will fail to inform the insured that they may purchase far higher amounts of liability and UM coverage. This increase in coverage can prove invaluable should you become involved in a serious accident with an uninsured driver. A common tactic of insurance companies is to suggest reducing the amount of UM coverage on a policy. This can only be done if the policy holder affirmatively signs a waiver reducing the UM coverage. Doing so is a terrible idea since the cost for this important coverage is very reasonable and the consequence of being in a serious crash with inadequate insurance coverage could be disastrous.
Rely on the Auto Accident Advocates at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz
Auto insurance is meant to provide protection and peace-of-mind, but this is only possible if drivers know the facts behind the insurance they possess. If you have questions about your auto insurance coverage or have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, consult the dedicated auto accident attorneys at Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz (AFSL). With years of litigation experience, the attorneys at AFSL have the skills you need to ensure justice is served. For more information, contact Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz today and receive a free consultation.