Uninsured motorist coverage is essential for ensuring drivers and their passengers are appropriately compensated when they get into car accidents with drivers who are not insured. People who suffer injuries in crashes often rely on the insurance companies of the at-fault drivers to make them financially whole. Should the motorists who cause such wrecks lack coverage, however, those injured may have no recourse to recover compensation if they don’t carry UIM.
What Is UIM Coverage?
Uninsured motorist, or UIM, coverage is an insurance policy option that covers drivers’ costs when they are injured in accidents with motorists who lack even the state minimum auto insurance coverage. The Insurance Research Council reports that one out of every eight drivers across the U.S. in 2015 did not have auto insurance.
Uninsured motorist policies may include separate coverage for bodily injury and property damage. The bodily injury portion of this option applies to the medical bills and other such expenses resulting from auto accident injuries, while the property damage portion covers auto repairs.
Why Should Drivers Carry UIM Coverage?
In addition to complying with the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements, carrying UIM coverage offers numerous benefits to drivers. According to the Indiana Department of Insurance, drivers in the state must carry a mandatory minimum coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury for each person and a minimum of $50,000 for each accident. Policies written after July 1, 2017, must also include minimum property damage coverage of $25,000.
An at-fault drivers’ liability insurance policy covers other victims who are injured, compensating them for medical expenses and property losses. Without UIM coverage, drivers involved in crashes with uninsured motorists who have few or no assets must bear the financial responsibility for their losses. A UIM policy allows people to recover compensation from their own insurance carriers for losses incurred in collisions with drivers who lack liability insurance coverage.
Protection When Not Behind the Wheel
UIM coverage also protects policyholders and their covered dependents when they are not driving. For example, people’s policies may provide compensation if they get into accidents with uninsured drivers while they are riding in someone else’s vehicle. Additionally, UIM coverage pays out for compensable losses if victims get hit by an uninsured auto while walking or bicycling.