What is UM?
- This stands for either Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist
- Drivers in Georgia are legally required to have at least $25,000.00 of liability coverage. Many drivers do not have the minimum amount. Also, when someone is in a wreck, many times the value of the injury claim exceeds $25,000.00.
- UM coverage is what you buy to protect you if the other driver is not insured (uninsured coverage) or if they do not have enough insurance (underinsured motorist coverage).
How does this relate to me?
- If you get in a car wreck with another car and you want compensation for your injuries, you first look to the other driver’s insurance policy. However, if they do not have insurance or do not have enough coverage then you look to your own policy if you have UM coverage.
What is the difference between uninsured and underinsured?
- An uninsured motorist is someone who has no insurance whatsoever.
- An underinsured motorist is someone that has insufficient insurance. Say you are in an accident and your medical bills are $100,000 and you lost $25,000 in wages. The value of your claim exceeds $125,000.00. If the other vehicle only has $25,000.00 of coverage and you have $100,000.00 of UM add on, then you would seek $25,000.00 from the at fault driver and $100,000.00 under your UM coverage.
What type of accidents does UM cover?
- Different plans have different specifications but generally, UM covers bodily injuries as well as property damages up to a certain amount stated by whatever plan you have.
- Bodily injury generally encompasses medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
- Property damage includes damage to your vehicle as well as personal items present at the time of the accident such as laptop and phone.
- UM insurance also covers passengers in your car (although you first look to their own policy for UM coverage).
- Additionally, a motor vehicle shall be deemed uninsured if the owner is unknown. This is helpful if you are the victim of a hit and run incident where the person that hit you cannot be found. In that case, you would still receive coverage because of UM insurance.
How would a lawyer be helpful in this scenario?
- Personal injury lawyers are there to help you receive fair and reasonable compensation. A lawyer can consult you through the process, make sure that the insurance company offers you what you are due, and advise you on what steps to take if you are not getting a fair deal.
For further questions or more information, refer to the contact information below.
Stephen D. Apolinsky, Esquire
Apolinsky & Associates, LLC
150 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 200
Decatur, Georgia 30030