Top 5 Reasons You Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage Today

uninsured motorist coverage

Despite California’s mandatory insurance laws, thousands of drivers are breaking those rules and driving completely uncovered. Even more have policies with the bare minimum limits, which won’t come close to covering your costs if they seriously injure you. So what can you do to protect yourself from these uninsured or underinsured motorists?

Get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own auto policy. It’s your affordable safety net when the other driver has inadequate insurance or none at all. Here are the top 5 reasons you need to add UM/UIM coverage right now:

Reason #1 – Protect Yourself from Uninsured Drivers

As shocking as it may seem, 17% of California drivers are completely uninsured, according to recent estimates. That’s more than 1 in 6 drivers breaking the law by failing to carry even the bare minimum liability coverage required by California Vehicle Code §16020.

When an uninsured motorist causes a car accident, you’re left holding the bag for your injuries and vehicle damage. Their lack of insurance means you have no one to pursue for compensation outside of taking them to court personally (good luck with that).

Uninsured motorist coverage seamlessly fills this dangerous gap. If an uninsured driver hits you, your own UM policy steps in to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering – everything their insurance should have paid had they followed the rules.

Reason #2 – Underinsured Drivers Can Leave You Holding the Bill

Even if the other driver has insurance, there’s another pitfall – being underinsured. California only requires drivers to carry $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person. In our decades of experience, we’ve seen how inadequate those minimum limits can be.

A serious car accident with permanent injuries can easily exceed $15,000 in medical bills alone. What about future treatment, lost income if you’re unable to work, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering? The at-fault driver’s skimpy liability limits won’t suffice.

When you have underinsured motorist coverage, it acts as a backup to cover what the other driver’s policy lacks. Your UIM kicks in after their liability limits are exhausted, providing an extra layer of protection up to the UIM limits you selected.

Don’t Rely Solely on Health Insurance

You might think, “No problem, I’ve got health insurance.” However, health plans have their limits, copays, and deductibles, and critically – do not compensate you for lost wages or non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Underinsured motorist coverage ensures you are made whole again by covering everything your health insurance won’t. With UIM on your policy, you can recover 100% of your crash-related economic losses and non-economic damages.

Reason #3 – Covers You in a Hit-and-Run

According to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety, 147,148 fatal and injury traffic crashes occurred across the state in 2020. Of those, 12.6% involved hit and runs. When the other driver flees, you’re left with no one to pursue for vehicle repairs or compensation.

Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage is your safety net in these maddening scenarios. If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, UMPD pays for all repairs to your vehicle, saving you from covering that hefty mechanic bill out-of-pocket.

Reason #4 – Provides Complete Protection for Injuries

Let’s say an underinsured driver rear-ends you at a stoplight. You suffer whiplash, a herniated disc and need months of physical therapy and chiropractic treatment. The other driver’s bargain-basement policy limits aren’t going to cut it.

When you have uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (UM/UIM BI) protection, it covers the full gamut of your injury-related damages:

  • Medical bills – Every last penny, now and in the future
  • Lost wages – Both time off work and any loss of future earnings
  • Non-economic damages like pain & suffering, emotional distress

Our lawyers have seen firsthand how UM/UIM bodily injury coverage delivers complete relief for clients suffering painful injuries. Instead of nickel-and-diming your care, your own UM/UIM policy makes you whole as if the at-fault driver carried sufficient insurance.

Reason #5 – Affordable Premium for Invaluable Protection

“This all sounds great, but I can’t afford another insurance bill!”

We hear you, and that’s why UM/UIM coverage is such a wise investment. Adding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in California is surprisingly affordable – often just $50-100 per year more on your premium.

For that tiny line item, you’re getting invaluable protection and peace of mind. Just ask our clients who were able to recover hundreds of thousands or even millions from their UM/UIM policies after catastrophic crashes.

How Much UM/UIM Coverage is Recommended?

At a minimum, we advise our clients to match the UM/UIM limits to their bodily injury liability limits – the higher the better. So if you carry 100/300 in liability, select 100/300 in UM/UIM coverage.

However, those with significant assets should consider increasing to higher UM/UIM limits like 250/500 or even excess/umbrella coverage. This protects your full net worth in case of a high-value injury claim exceeding lower policy caps.

Don’t Take Chances – Get UM/UIM Today

No one expects to be the victim of a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. But at Pasternack Injury Law Group, we’ve seen firsthand how quickly that unexpected reality can upend lives and finances.

By adding comprehensive UM/UIM coverage now, you’re safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against this unavoidable risk. For just a few extra dollars a month, you’ll enjoy the ultimate peace of mind every time you get behind the wheel.

If a collision does occur, your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage allows you to make a claim against your own policy. This means receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries and property damage without the obstacles of dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurer.

Don’t roll the dice by relying on other drivers to maintain adequate insurance. Protect your family, your finances, and your future today by calling our office to review your auto policy and discuss adding or increasing your UM/UIM limits. We’re here to make sure you have every protection you need before disaster strikes.

Contact Pasternack Injury Law Group now because you never know when you’ll need the ultimate security blanket of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your side.

Author Bio

Barry A. Pasternack

Barry Pasternack brings over three decades of legal experience to his role as the founding attorney at Pasternack Injury Law Group. He holds a J.D. from the esteemed California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, and has been a member of the California State Bar since 1988. Located in downtown San Diego, Barry’s practice serves clients throughout the San Diego region, providing comprehensive guidance and representation.

Barry’s commitment to his clients is unwavering, and your initial consultation is always free of charge. You only pay attorney’s fees when he successfully recovers compensation on your behalf. When you choose Barry Pasternack, you’re selecting a skilled legal professional who will tirelessly fight for your rights and work diligently to help you on your path to recovery.

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