When a negligent driver is not insured or does not have adequate insurance coverage, and crosses the centerline and hits you causing personal injury, the need for surgery and six months of missed work, who will pay for your medical expenses? Who will pay for your lost earnings? Who will pay for your pain-and-suffering and the permanent effect to your quality of life?
If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy, it will pay for injuries and damages caused by an uninsured driver who was responsible for the collision. If you have underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy, it will pay for injuries and damages caused by an insured driver who did not have adequate insurance coverage who was responsible for the collision.
The state minimum insurance required to be legally insured in Ohio is $25,000. This is the minimum amount of insurance coverage. Given the costs of health care and treatments, if the negligent driver only has the state minimum required insurance limit of liability on his or her own policy, that is called an underinsured driver. Underinsured drivers have only minimal coverage to protect you from the auto accident or trucking accident that they caused. Their minimal insurance coverage will not always provide you with adequate compensation to pay for your injuries and damages.
It is no longer mandatory that insurance agents offer you uninsured/underinsured coverage. This is why it is essential that you talk to your insurance agent today and make sure that you have uninsured/underinsured coverage. You should carry the same amount of uninsured/UIM coverage limits as you have with your liability coverage limits. If you have $100,000 in liability limits, you should have at least $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured limits. Never let your insurance agent talk you into a lower limit for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured/UIM coverage is essential a part of uninsured/UIM coverage because in Ohio over 15% of drivers are uninsured. In the event you are hit by an uninsured motorist or you do not have underinsured motorist coverage to cover you in case any motorists have state minimum coverage, they will not have adequate insurance to compensate you for all your losses. As such, you are on your own. You must pay for your losses, except for allowed claims, to your health insurance company.
If the motorist who caused the accident only has a state minimum policy and you do not not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the most that you will recover from the negligent driver for the accident is $25,000 for your medical claim and up to $12,500 for the property damage claim to your vehicle. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is available to you through your own insurance policy that would pay for all of your medical expenses, lost wages, pain-and-suffering and permanent damages up to your policy limits. In the event the motorist at fault in the collision is either uninsured or does't have adequate insurance coverage, uninsured/underinsured coverage not only covers you, but also covers the resident members of your family and your passengers up to the limits of your policy. You and your family members are also protected with uninsured/underinsured coverage under your own policy. If you are pedestrians and are struck by an uninsured/underinsured motorist vehicle, you are also protected with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.