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THE IMPORTANCE OF UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IN CALIFORNIA

What Exactly is Uninsured Motorist Coverage? Why Do I Need It?

  • In the state of California, every driver operating a motor vehicle is required to have automobile liability insurance. Unfortunately, 1 in 7 drivers in the state do not possess automobile liability insurance and are therefore uninsured.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance coverage you can purchase with your automatable insurance which will compensate you for your injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident in which you were not at fault and the at fault driver was uninsured.
  • Without uninsured motorist coverage, there is no guarantee that you will be able to recover for your injuries. If the driver causing your injuries is uninsured and without any significant personal assets, it is practically impossible to recover anything for your injuries.
  • Rather than taking the risk of being injured by an uninsured motorist, with uninsured motorist coverage, you can now rely on your own insurance to compensate for your injuries. Therefore, while you cannot control who causes your injuries, you can protect yourself and your passengers by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage so that you are always covered.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

  • Underinsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance coverage you can purchase with your automatable insurance which will compensate you for your injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident in which you were not at fault and the at fault driver DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH INSURANCE TO COVER YOUR INJURIES.
  • In California, the same policy provision will provide uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. That is to say, if you purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you are also purchasing underinsured motorist coverage for that same amount.

When Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Apply and How Does It Work?

In California, there are two main conditions you have to meet before you can obtain recovery under your underinsured motorist coverage:

  1. The first condition is that you have to exhaust the at fault party's insurance limits. This means the at fault party's insurance carrier must agree to pay the limit of their liability policy to you for your injuries.
  1. The second condition is that you must have more in underinsured motorist coverage than the at fault party had in liability insurance. This is because underinsured motorist coverage is considered an excess coverage.
  • Example: You have $15,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage and the at fault party has $15,000.00 in liability insurance. You will not be able to recover anything in this scenario because you do not have more in underinsured motorist coverage than the at fault party has in liability insurance.
  • Example: You have $30,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage and the at fault party has $15,000 in liability insurance. In this scenario, you will be able to recover from your underinsured motorist coverage, assuming you have received the full $15,000 from the at fault party's insurance. HOWEVER, YOU MUST FIRST DEDUCT THE AT FAULT PARTY'S LIABILITY INSURANCE FROM YOUR UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH COVERAGE YOU HAVE. This means you can recover up to $15,000 from your underinsured motorist coverage in this scenario.

AN ADDED BENEFIT OF UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IS THAT YOU WILL BE COVERED WHETHER YOU WERE IN YOUR OWN VEHICLE OR NOT. WHETHER YOU WERE A PEDESTRIAN OR RIDING A BICYCLE, YOUR UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE MAY PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR YOUR INJURIES RESULTING FROM AN UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT.

What Will Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Actually Cover?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage essentially steps into the shoes of the at fault party's insurance carrier and covers both the economic damages and non-economic damages relating to your bodily injury.

Economic Damages include the following:

  • Medical bills.
  • Cost to repair your damaged vehicle.
  • Rental bill or loss of use of your vehicle.
  • Lost wages and/or loss of employment.
  • Other property damage.

Non-economic damages include the following:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental and emotional distress.
  • Physical impairment and disfigurement.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and daily activities.

In California, the minimum required liability insurance is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Even if the party who caused your injuries has valid liability insurance, there is a high chance there may only be these minimum limits available. Therefore, the higher your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the more protection you have. Remember, you cannot control who will cause your injuries or what kind of insurance they will have, but you can protect yourself in advance by having high uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

If you have been injured by a motor vehicle driven by someone without valid liability insurance or not enough insurance to cover your injuries, contact the Law Offices of Mher Asatryan so that we may pursue all possible sources of recovery for your injury claim. We will make sure to research all available insurance coverages which may provide coverage and reimbursement for your injuries.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

  • Underinsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance coverage you can purchase with your automatable insurance which will compensate you for your injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident in which you were not at fault and the at fault driver DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH INSURANCE TO COVER YOUR INJURIES.
  • In California, the same policy provision will provide uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. That is to say, if you purchase uninsured motorist coverage, you are also purchasing underinsured motorist coverage for that same amount.

When Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Apply and How Does It Work?

In California, there are two main conditions you have to meet before you can obtain recovery under your underinsured motorist coverage:

  1. The first condition is that you have to exhaust the at fault party's insurance limits. This means the at fault party's insurance carrier must agree to pay the limit of their liability policy to you for your injuries.
  1. The second condition is that you must have more in underinsured motorist coverage than the at fault party had in liability insurance. This is because underinsured motorist coverage is considered an excess coverage.
  • Example: You have $15,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage and the at fault party has $15,000.00 in liability insurance. You will not be able to recover anything in this scenario because you do not have more in underinsured motorist coverage than the at fault party has in liability insurance.
  • Example: You have $30,000.00 in underinsured motorist coverage and the at fault party has $15,000 in liability insurance. In this scenario, you will be able to recover from your underinsured motorist coverage, assuming you have received the full $15,000 from the at fault party's insurance. HOWEVER, YOU MUST FIRST DEDUCT THE AT FAULT PARTY'S LIABILITY INSURANCE FROM YOUR UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH COVERAGE YOU HAVE. This means you can recover up to $15,000 from your underinsured motorist coverage in this scenario.

AN ADDED BENEFIT OF UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IS THAT YOU WILL BE COVERED WHETHER YOU WERE IN YOUR OWN VEHICLE OR NOT. WHETHER YOU WERE A PEDESTRIAN OR RIDING A BICYCLE, YOUR UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE MAY PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR YOUR INJURIES RESULTING FROM AN UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT.

What Will Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Actually Cover?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage essentially steps into the shoes of the at fault party's insurance carrier and covers both the economic damages and non-economic damages relating to your bodily injury.

Economic Damages include the following:

  • Medical bills.
  • Cost to repair your damaged vehicle.
  • Rental bill or loss of use of your vehicle.
  • Lost wages and/or loss of employment.
  • Other property damage.

Non-economic damages include the following:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental and emotional distress.
  • Physical impairment and disfigurement.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life and daily activities.

In California, the minimum required liability insurance is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Even if the party who caused your injuries has valid liability insurance, there is a high chance there may only be these minimum limits available. Therefore, the higher your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the more protection you have. Remember, you cannot control who will cause your injuries or what kind of insurance they will have, but you can protect yourself in advance by having high uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

If you have been injured by a motor vehicle driven by someone without valid liability insurance or not enough insurance to cover your injuries, contact the Law Offices of Mher Asatryan so that we may pursue all possible sources of recovery for your injury claim. We will make sure to research all available insurance coverages which may provide coverage and reimbursement for your injuries.

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