What Car Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know About Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Driving is a freedom and a privilege — until catastrophe strikes from an irresponsible motorist with no backing coverage.

Despite common assumptions accident costs get covered by insurance, the reality is much more grim for victims crashed into by uninsured drivers.

State laws theoretically establish liability buffers through required minimums, but too often, accident victims discover shocking protection gaps benefiting at-fault parties at their expense.

When this happens, having uninsured/underinsured motorist protection on your policy comes in handy.

While most insurers won’t tell you this — this policy add-on can help you seek maximum compensation in an accident with a driver with limited or no coverage. For a small premium, you can shield yourself from financial ruin after an accident that wasn’t your fault.

The Alarming Truth About Uninsured Drivers Sharing Roads With You

With 1 in 8 U.S. drivers being uninsured (as estimated by the Insurance Information Institute), the chances of getting hit by someone with little or no insurance are alarmingly high.

But most people don’t really understand all the details in their policies, leaving many at risk without enough protection.

Too many motorists believe premiums pay comprehensive collision, injury, and damage costs — but fail to realize stark coverage exclusions for at-fault uninsured drivers.

By definition, drivers lacking state-mandated liability insurance possess no means of covering harm caused to others. This shifts crushing financial, medical, and personal burdens upon not-at-fault victims denied accountability.

Still worse, victims might have to fight with insurance companies to get the full payment they are owed.

Does Your Policy Guard Against Accidents Involving Uninsured Motorists?

Insurance companies sell expensive premium plans and promise you will be protected if anything bad happens. But the fine print in uninsured motorist coverage contradicts their flashy advertising slogans. Their premium plans may not fully protect you if an uninsured driver hits you.

The insurance companies rely on people not reading the details, so they keep buying the plans. But you could still end up in trouble even with their most expensive premium insurance.

The government created minimum insurance requirements to try to stop people from driving without any insurance. But those rules don’t work well when an at-fault driver has very low insurance limits. If that underinsured driver hits someone, their low coverage passes the buck to the victim.

For passengers, pedestrians, or drivers who did buy proper insurance – the at-fault driver’s insurance often pays way less than the actual costs. Those costs add up fast between medical bills, missed wages, car repairs, and compensation for pain and suffering.

The gap gets even worse with hit-and-run accidents where the offender pays nothing at all. Check your own policy to see if you have uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage to protect you if the at-fault driver’s plan leaves gaps. Don’t let someone else’s low insurance limits ruin you financially after an accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Your Best Friend After a Car Crash

Where insured at-fault parties fall devastatingly short on liability maximums, uninsured or underinsured motorist (UI/UM) coverage bridges gaps protecting not-at-fault victims.

Essentially, it serves as specialized default insurance activated when outside drivers either lack policies outright or carry insufficient buffers given accident harm inflicted.

This coverage economically shields insured customers and resident relatives across two key categories:

  • Bodily injury from collisions with uninsured/underinsured drivers
  • Vehicle repairs and replacements after uninsured crashes

Top 5 Protections Drivers Don’t Realize They Need

Buying extra uninsured motorist coverage boosts your protection beyond the minimum requirements. This safeguards you in case of accidents with irresponsible drivers. Those worst-case scenarios happen too often on crowded roads today.

UM coverage mainly gives you 5 key protections:

Medical Cost Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage pays for all medical expenses tied to injuries suffered in a crash with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. This includes hospital bills, ambulatory transport, prescriptions, physical therapy, and more up to policy limits. Medical costs per person often exceed $100,000 for serious accidents.

Reimbursement of Lost Wages

The injured policyholder also receives reimbursement for work income lost while recovering and unable to earn their normal salaries. Whether missing days, weeks, or months, UM coverage helps replace diminished pay during medical leave – which proves essential for maintaining financial stability through rehabilitation.

Settlements for Pain and Suffering

UM policies also provide “non-economic” settlement awards recognizing the mental, emotional, and physical distress tied to collisions. Injured parties receive reasonable compensation for upended life struggles beyond calculable out-of-pocket costs.

Repairs or Total Loss Replacement for Vehicles

If an uninsured driver damages another vehicle, UM Property Damage clauses pay for mechanical repairs or total loss valuations if the wreckage exceeds replacement cost. This vital perk prevents bearing car issues alone.

Sneaky Limitations Adjusters Use to Deny or Reduce Payouts

In theory, the uninsured motorist coverage should pay for all the costs you get stuck with when the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance. It steps in when someone else fails to fulfill their legal duty of having enough insurance to cover damages. UM protects innocent victims left in the lurch.

Yet insurance companies often stonewall valid requests by deploying tricky tactics benefitting bottom lines over the welfare of paying policyholders.

Common car accident settlement roadblocks include:

  • Questioning fault percentages assigned
  • Disputing the medical necessity of treatments
  • Citing imaginary pre-existing conditions
  • Low-ball offers forcing victims to accept less
  • Intimidation tactics flustering claimants
  • Delaying communications and required payments

Insurance companies count on customers not really understanding all the complicated details in their policies. When accidents happen, some adjusters use that confusion to avoid paying claims or pay less than they should.

Stay steps ahead through education on protections to which you are legally entitled. Consult qualified attorneys for help when facing denial or delays in obtaining fair car accident settlements.

Biggest Myths About Uninsured Motorist Insurance Policies

Misconceptions burden drivers regarding uninsured protections – don’t get fooled! Five prevailing myths crash hard clarifying truth on uninsured motorist essentials:

MYTH: All drivers carry legally required insurance
TRUTH: Nearly 13% don’t (as estimated by the Insurance Information Institute)

MYTH: Premiums automatically give full accident coverage
TRUTH: UM clauses require separate add-ons many overlook

MYTH: Insurance settlements make people whole
TRUTH: Limits on liability coverage often underpay harms by thousands

MYTH: Insurers automatically give the best settlements
TRUTH: Insurance companies maximize profits, not victim recoveries

How to Get Every Penny You Deserve in a Car Accident With an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver

Don’t let insurance companies get away with underpaying or denying your legitimate personal injury claims just because the policies are confusing. To get the full payment you deserve, you need determination, detailed records, and legal help.

To protect your right to fair payment, you can:

  • Collect substantiating medical documentation
  • Catalog all economic loss data
  • Consult car accident attorneys to understand your policy details
  • Confirm fault fully resides with the uninsured party
  • Write demand letters with counsel guidance
  • Request civil courts to resolve settlement disputes

More and more uninsured drivers are on the roads, so responsible motorists face growing risks of accidents without enough protection. Gaps in coverage usually only benefit insurers and irresponsible drivers who escape consequences.

But you can empower yourself to navigate these hazards. Talk to agents who clearly explain policies in normal language. Most importantly, consider a quick, free consultation with a car accident lawyer.

Our attorneys can help you understand exactly how uninsured motorist coverage works when disaster strikes. We will unpack proactive steps to take before, during, and after accidents to protect your rights.

Don’t remain vulnerable – knowledge is power. Let our attorneys translate confusing policies and laws. A free consultation could save you money, time, and hardship if a reckless, uninsured stranger upends your life. Don’t leave yourself unprotected – contact us today.

Author Bio

Peter J. Hess grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a 1996 graduate of Walla Walla High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Washington, with a B.A. in Business Administration/Information Systems.

Peter graduated from Willamette University College of Law, with honors, in 2007. While at Willamette, he was an Associate Editor of the Willamette Law Review, he was a Teacher’s Assistant for a Legal Research and Writing professor, and he worked as a Personal Injury Law Clerk at Swanson, Lathen, Alexander & McCann in Salem, Oregon. After graduation from Willamette, Peter began working here at Hess Injury Law. In 2012, he became a partner in the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both Washington and Oregon.

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