In our previous blog, we took a look at minimum liability insurance coverage and what it can mean in the aftermath of an accident. In the state of California, all drivers must carry a specific level of coverage at minimum ($15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident), but this coverage is often not enough to cover the costs of an injury — even a minor one. In this blog, we will talk about underinsured motorist coverage and how it can help protect you from an under-covered motorist.
Underinsured vs. Uninsured
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you are involved in an accident caused by someone without insurance. If this occurs, your insurance company will help cover your medical costs and other associated fees, as long as the other driver was at fault. Underinsured coverage is not the same thing as uninsured motorist coverage, and it is important that you carry both on your policy.
With underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company steps in to assist with costs associated with an accident when the other driver’s insurance maxes out. If, for example, you have $20,000 in medical bills and the other driver’s insurance is the California minimum of $15,000, coverage for underinsured motorists on your own policy will help take care of the difference. This can be extremely helpful if you find yourself facing a serious injury with treatment costs running into the tens of thousands, and have nothing but a bare-minimum $15,000 in coverage coming from the other driver.
Note that underinsured insurance may cover you even if you are not in a vehicle. As long as the accident is the fault of the underinsured driver, your personal underinsured motorist coverage should step in to assist when a coverage gap appears. It is in your best interest to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Los Angeles to develop a full understanding of the law and your specific policy benefits.