Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Uninsured motorist insurance is a clause that can be included in the personal liability insurance policy that the owner of a vehicle purchases to provide financial protection in case of an accident. It works to complement standard personal liability coverage or other policy additions such as towing coverage for those cases where a driver or a vehicle endures damage or injury at the hands of another driver who does not have automobile insurance.

This is not the same thing as being underinsured. If the driver who is at fault does have insurance, but the limits of that policy are inadequate to cover the claims resulting from the accident, that driver is deemed to be underinsured, and a different clause of the liability coverage policy will apply.

Automobile insurance works best when all parties to an accident carry valid insurance with adequate compensation limits. When this is the case, the claims process tends to run more smoothly and even quickly. Sometimes, however, an accident is caused by a person who is driving without insurance, that is, with no policy providing liability coverage or third party protection.

Although most states mandate personal liability coverage for owners of motor vehicles, many persons choose to use the roadways without such coverage. When a person does this and another person travelling in another vehicle is injured through the fault of the driver who does not have insurance, the only insurance policy that can come into play is that of the driver who has been paying an insurance premium.

An uninsured motorist is a person who either does not have insurance, or has insurance that does not meet the minimum liability requirements mandated by state authorities. A person who does have insurance but whose insurance company denies the claim, is also deemed uninsured. The hit-and-run driver is also classified as an uninsured motorist.

Financial Responsibility

It is very likely that a person who is unable to maintain active insurance on a vehicle that he or she owns, will also be unlikely to possess the financial resources to underwrite claims for damages or personal injury subsequent to an accident. The injured party will quite likely be left to carry the costs of repairs or medical care. Lawmakers in some sates have considered this, decided that this is an unacceptable scenario, and have enacted legislation to address the issue.

They determined that if a person is responsible and does maintain insurance, that person should have some recourse and have to suffer further hardship because another person was negligent or less than responsible. A person's own automobile insurance, they argue, should protect the insured as long as the insured is not at fault. So, they instituted the uninsured motorist insurance clause. The uninsured motorist insurance provides financial compensation for the injured party or the owner of the damaged vehicle, from the insured motorist's own liability insurance coverage, if the person at fault does not carry insurance.

The liability insurance of the party responsible for causing the accident will pay personal injury and physical damage claims repairs to the other person who is in the right, or who is not the cause of the accident. It will also cover the costs of repair or replacement of the vehicle of the person causing the accident, minus deductibles, and up to the limits of the policy in both cases.

Uninsured motorist insurance makes it possible for the person who is not the cause of the accident, but who is injured or whose vehicle sustains physical damage, to be compensated by his or her own policy if the motorist responsible for the damage or injury is uninsured.


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