I’d like to thank Jerry Nicklow of Huff Insurance for this months blog contribution.
We all know that auto insurance is required on all vehicles on Maryland roads. Car insurance is pretty much the same across the board. The only real difference is the person who sold you the policy and how they explained it. For a majority of people, price is the single biggest reason where they purchase their auto insurance, either through an Maryland Independent Insurance Agent, which is what we recommend, or through companies you see on TV. Sometimes, these companies, and other insurance agents, fail to explain or even offer the important optional coverage’s in a vain attempt to give you the cheapest price possible. Are they doing you any favors? I don’t think they are. Believe me, I know price is very important when it comes to insurance. However, it’s also my job to make you aware of all your insurance coverage options and explain how they can help protect you and your family. Ultimately, it’s your choice so you might as well be informed when making these decisions. One of the most important coverage’s you should consider is Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Here are the quick definitions:
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)- This covers bodily injury and other compensatory damages for you or your passengers if you are hit by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have any insurance to pay the amount you are legally entitled to recover.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)- Provides coverage for bodily injury and other compensatory damages for you or your passengers if you hit by an at-fault driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to pay the full amount you are legally entitled to recover.
According to the Insurance Research Council, if someone is injured in a car accident in the United States, the chances are one in seven(over 14% !) that the accident was caused by an uninsured driver. Now just think about how many cars you share the road with everyday. I know that 50,000 cars pass our office on Ritchie Highway every day. Using the averages, that means that 7,000 of those cars do not have insurance! That is real scary.
Then, when you think about the amount of people driving that are underinsured and carry just the minimum liability limits required by Maryland ($30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident and $15,000 property damage) makes everyday driving even scarier.
Let me give you an example of how this insurance coverage works. There are time bombs out there and I don’t want you to be caught with your guard down. Imagine that you are driving your family across town (not too uncommon right?), and another driver runs a red light and broadsides you. There are significant injuries, loss of wages, rehabilitation costs, total damage to your new car, etc. You then come to find out that the person who hit you doesn’t even have car insurance!
What happens is that you have to rely on the uninsured motorist coverage of your own car insurance policy to bail you out of the financial ruin because of someone else’s negligence. But, if you have enough UM/UIM coverage, you can make your claim with your own insurance company for EVERYTHING (except punitive damages) the bad driver owes you including: special damages (example- loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, diminished earning capacity, & cost to travel for medical treatment), and general damages (pain & suffering, living forever with paralysis, loss of enjoyment, loss of a standard of living, etc.) It’s important to note that NONE OF THIS IS COVERED BY HAVING GREAT HEALTH INSURANCE!!! This situation is all too real and happens every day of the week. I can not stress enough the importance of this coverage. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be added to your policy immediately. After all, this will be coverage to protect you and your family. Some companies are now allowing you to add UM/UIM coverage onto your umbrella insurance policy as well, adding an additional layer of protection for your and your family.
Please give us a call to review this important coverage.
That’s why we’re here.
Huff Insurance is a locally owned and operated Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agency located in Pasadena, MD. We have been protecting Anne Arundel County families and businesses since 1960.