Buying auto insurance coverage can be confusing. There are many different coverages that can be purchased under a single auto policy: liability coverage (which pays the other person if you are at fault in an accident), collision coverage (which pays to repair your own car even if you are at fault), and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Texas, you are only required to buy liability coverage (to protect other drivers), and you can purchase as little as $30,000 in coverage to protect other drivers under Texas law. You can purchase collision coverage, but it will ad to the cost of your policy, and it may not be worth it if your car is old and/or not worth much money. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is also available for purchase, but do you need it?
Absolutely. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, a/k/a UM/UIM coverage, may be the most important part of your policy. It protects you and the passengers in your car in the event you are involved in an accident where the other driver has no insurance coverage at all, or has less insurance coverage than what is needed to repair the damages or redress the your personal injuries of those in your vehicle. While UM/UIM coverage definitely ads to the cost of your auto insurance policy, if you are involved in an accident where you or your passengers sustain serious personal injuries and the other driver has just a minimum limits policy (or no insurance at all), your UM/UIM coverage becomes the most important part of your policy. It will pay you the difference between the limits of the other driver’s policy (which are zero if they did not have a policy) and the amount of your actual injuries.
UM/UIM Auto Insurance Coverage Can Be the Most Important Part of Your Policy
The State of Texas considers uninsured/underinsured coverage to be so important that if you want to decline it, you are required to do so in writing. Even though UM/UIM coverage could be the most important part of your policy, in order to reduce the overall monthly auto insurance premiums, many insurance agents recommend declining it to reduce premiums and often they do not fully explain to their clients the risks of waiving UM/UIM coverage. They simply tell them declining it can greatly reduce the premiums on their policy. An August 2014 study estimated the number of Uninsured drivers in Texas to be 12-15% or approximately 1.6 million uninsured drivers. http://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/IRC%20UM_NewsRelease_1.pdf
When you are buying auto coverage or comparing premiums between policies, be sure you are comparing apples to apples and that all policies you are considering have a UM/UIM component. If they do not, at least be aware of the risk you are taking by not having this coverage.
With so many uninsured drivers on the road in Texas, every driver should have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if they can possibly afford it.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious auto accident, get legal help to pursue your claims and make a full recovery. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at J. Thomas Law Firm for your free consultation. Click here to request your free case review or call 817-442-2410. We take personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis; there is no fee ever unless and until we make a recovery for you. We serve clients in Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville, Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Roanoke, Trophy Club, and throughout the DFW Metroplex area.