No one wants to be involved in an auto accident. Still, for most drivers in the Indianapolis area — and especially those who commute into the city daily — accidents are relatively common.
Being prepared with the right auto insurance coverage, however, can prevent you from losing big after an accident.
One type of coverage that you shouldn’t be without is called UM/UIM coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Ahead, we’ll define this type of insurance and explain how it can save you thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses (or more) if you get into an auto accident.
But first, let’s go over what types of auto insurance all drivers in Indiana actually require.
Required Indiana Auto Insurance
All Indiana drivers require liability insurance. This means it is illegal to drive without active liability coverage, and if you are caught without it, you’ll be penalized. You may be fined and/or have your license taken away or your car impounded.
Another type of required coverage is uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance(UM/UIM coverage) and a related type of coverage called uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD coverage).
What Is Liability Insurance?
If you are found at fault in an auto accident, your liability insurance will cover the other party’s bodily injuries and vehicle damages.
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage?
If another driver is at fault in an accident you are also involved in, your uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance will cover your medical expenses. This typically includes lost wages and pain and suffering, if applicable.
In any serious collision, if medical injuries are present, chances are, property damage is also an issue.
UM/UIM coverage only takes care of injury-related expenses. Property damage falls into another category.
If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver and incur property damage as a result (damage to your car, or, in some cases, damage to personal property), uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) will cover you.
Do All Indiana Drivers Have UM/UIM/UMPD Coverage?
When it comes to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, every state is different. While Indiana is a state that generally requires UM/UIM coverage and UMPD coverage, this only means that it will be auto-included on most baseline insurance plans. Drivers can still, however, reject this coverage, if done so in writing.
Experts recommend that drivers do not reject UM/UIM/UMPD coverage because it is extremely beneficial. One out of seven Indiana drivers is driving illegally by not having any type of liability coverage. This puts you at risk, so it is imperative that you protect yourself and your assets while being on the road with them.
What Is the Difference Between an Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist?
An uninsured driver is one who has zero liability insurance. If one of these drivers causes an accident with you, they’ll be in trouble with the law. Still, you’ll be left with the medical bills and property damage bills.
An underinsured driver is one with baseline insurance, but coverage that isn’t adequate enough to cover medical bills and injury-related expenses for another driver in most cases.
Although having these types of drivers on the road seems extremely unfair, there’s little you can do.
The other driver will certainly face fines and other legal ramifications if they are caught. They may have their license and vehicle taken away. You can attempt to recoup your damages by taking them to court in many cases. It’s possible the state may order them to pay you or garnish their wages.
But if they are a driver with bad insurance or without insurance at all, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to come up with the funds to pay you — even if ordered to by a judge. Furthermore, even if their wages are garnished, this will likely only put a small dent in your bills.
Allow Binford Insurance to Help You Create a Sound Auto Insurance Coverage Plan
At Binford Insurance, we are proud to have extremely knowledgeable and friendly insurance agents on our team. We can help you come up with an auto insurance plan that meets all your needs and protects you from uninsured and underinsured drivers. Give us a call today or stop in to learn more.