- Isabelle Tan, Esq.
Why It's Important to Have Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
On January 1, 2021, our client, Mr. H. was walking his dog in Oakland, California. As he was lawfully crossing the street within a crosswalk an approaching vehicle accelerated right into Mr. H. He was tossed onto the hood of the vehicle before falling onto the pavement. The car continued on and never stopped. It was a hit and run.
As a result of this incident, Mr. H suffered a fractured ankle requiring surgery.
What happens when you don’t have the at-fault driver’s identity? What happens when you don’t have the at-fault driver’s insurance information?
Luckily for Mr. H. he had Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage on his own vehicle insurance policy.
Uninsured Motorist coverage helps you pay for damages – including bodily injury damages—caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. Or, in this case, a hit-and-run driver who could not be located despite the best efforts of the police department and Mr. H. In that case, it is interpreted as if there is no insurance coverage from the at-fault driver for Mr. H’s injuries.
In March 2021, the Insurance Research Council reported that 1 in 8 drivers (12.6%) are uninsured. According to their research, California has a higher rate of uninsured drivers at 16.6%. (Insurance Research Council PDF)
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage pay for medical bills and other expenses for you and your passengers if you’re in a car accident caused by:
A driver who doesn’t carry any liability car insurance.
A driver who doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover your medical bills.
A driver whose insurance company denies coverage or goes out of business.
Uninsured motorist coverage can pay for:
Pain and suffering compensation
In some states and depending on your policy, property damage
In Mr. H’s case, we were able to open the UM claim and settle his case for $250,000.00.
Disclaimer: This result was dependent on the facts of this specific case, and results will differ based on different facts.