Research shows that about one in seven drivers does not have any auto insurance in the U.S.
Having the state-required amount of auto insurance when driving is the law. This includes insurance for Bodily Injury and Property Damage to others that you may be held legally liable for. Some drivers seem to feel that it’s not their responsibility to drive with insurance.
But what about Bodily Injury coverage for you and your family done by someone else who is uninsured or underinsured? There’s good news, something called uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage can protect you.
This covers drivers who have their own insurance and want to protect themselves from uninsured and underinsured drivers.
Ahead, we’ll go over what uninsured and underinsured coverage is. We will explain how it works as well because these types of insurance are often confusing.
Who Does Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage Protect?
The first thing to get out of the way is this:
When you buy uninsured and underinsured coverage in Wisconsin as a part of your auto policy, this coverage protects you and your household family members for Bodily Injuries sustained.
Some people think that uninsured and underinsured coverage protects uninsured drivers. This is not the case at all. In fact, it is the opposite.
Let’s start by explaining what type of insurance does protect other drivers.
You already know that as a driver in the state of Wisconsin, you must have coverage called liability insurance.
Your Liability insurance defends you and pays what you are legally liable for injuries or damages to others. This includes other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists or passengers in the event that you cause an accident with them. So, in fact, liability insurance actually protects you because it defends you and pays their damages so you don’t have to.
Tow main auto policy sections of the liability insurance are:
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance or BI Insurance covers, but limited to such items as medical expenses and lost wages for other drivers and their passengers, your passengers or pedestrians or cyclists, etc, when you are liable for an accident.
- Property Damage Liability Insurance or PDL Insurance covers property damage expenses (repairs to a vehicle) when you are liable for an accident.
But let’s say that you are not liable for an accident. The other driver is.
If they don’t have their own liability insurance (to cover you and your bodily injuries or property damage), what can you do?
This is where it’s wise to have purchased uninsured motorist insurance and underinsured motorist insurance.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured motorist insurance is also known as UM coverage. In the state of Wisconsin, it is required that you have uninsured motorist liability coverage.
This coverage will pay for injuries, medical expenses, etc.. for you or your household family members as a driver/passenger/pedestrian/cyclist etc.. (even if in another vehicle), if involved in an accident caused by someone without liability insurance.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
Underinsured motorist coverage is also known as UIM coverage. Requirements for this type of coverage vary from state to state. In Wisconsin, it is not required.
UIM coverage helps make up the difference when another driver only has the minimum amount of state-required personal injury liability insurance. This is the case when they cause an accident and injuries to you or your household family members as a driver/passenger/pedestrian/cyclist etc.. (even if in another vehicle). Their low level of insurance will take care of some of your medical expenses and lost wages. But it probably won’t cover very much.
What If Your Vehicle Is Damaged by an Uninsured Driver?
Uninsured motorist property damage coverage is another type of available insurance. It covers property damage if an uninsured driver is at fault and your car is damaged. This type of insurance is not usually offered in Wisconsin. Then Comprehensive or Collision applies to your vehicle if included in your auto policy.
Questions? Contact Leonard Insurance
Leonard Insurance has friendly and knowledgeable agents standing by. We can answer your questions about uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage.
We are also happy to help you find a new policy if you’re on the lookout for one that better fits your needs. Call or stop in today.