Being involved in a car accident is a stressful situation. Add in the possibility that the at fault driver may not be insured is another issue to add onto the whole process. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, an estimated 20%, or one out of every five vehicles in Texas, is uninsured. That’s about 4 million motorists driving around without insurance in Texas.
It isn’t fair nor ideal to have to protect yourself from someone else’s inability to have insurance, but having Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your own auto policy can help mitigate some of those physical and financial stresses.
What is the difference between Uninsured and Under Insured Motorist Coverage?
To simplify, when you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver that does not have insurance, you can make an Uninsured Motorist claim with your own insurance to help recoup costs related to your damages.
Under Insured Motorist Coverage will apply if the at-fault driver did have insurance but did not have enough under their policy limits to cover your damages.
Auto insurers in Texas are required to offer UM when purchasing an insurance policy OR they must obtain an authorized signature from the policy holder rejecting the coverage. If the insurance company fails to obtain your signed written rejections, you are covered. It is up to you to reject this coverage, not the insurance company. If you are having difficulty filing your injury claim, contact our office right away.
What is the difference between UMPD and UMBI?
Both refer to subsets of Uninsured Motorist Coverage. UMBI refers to Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage. This covers your medical expenses in the event you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver was uninsured. UMBI typically covers your passengers for their injuries as well.
UMPD refers to Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage. This covers damage to your car or property after a crash with an at-fault driver who has no car insurance. Pay close attention to this portion of your policy as a payout may be deemed necessary only if the at-fault driver is identified.
A deductible may apply and some UM policies do not include UMPD based on other selected coverages, such as collision coverage.
What can I do if the at fault driver does not have insurance?
Remember, the purpose of maintaining liability insurance is to protect yourself and your assets from a potential lawsuit in case you cause an accident. So, if you are hit by someone who does not have liability insurance, that person has opened themselves to fines, penalties, and legal ramifications. You may be able to file a lawsuit against them in pursuit of compensation for your damages.
Keep in mind that very few uninsured drivers have the resources to pay for personal injury damages. You should consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and potential claim.
Review your policy to see if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage – this is an incredibly important protection to include on your policy. UM protects you if you’re in an accident with an at fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance – this often includes a hit and run situation in which the at-fault driver flees the scene.
Injured in an auto accident? Call Stanley & Associates
If you have been injured in an auto accident in or around Dallas, contact Stanley & Associates for your free case consultation. Stanley & Associates has represented clients across Texas for over ten years. Our firm has successfully won thousands of cases during this time.