Petro Law Firm June 2019

June 2019

(205) 327-8311

www.petrolawfirm.com

National Insurance Awareness Day Underinsured and Uninsured Coverage

In my line of work, I see a lot of motor vehicle injury and accident cases. Sometimes, my clients are involved in accidents with drivers who are either uninsured or underinsured. However, if my clients have sufficient uninsured motorist/ underinsured motorist coverage, or UM/UIM coverage, they are protected in this type of situation. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can be applied to two situations: when the at-fault driver is uninsured or in the event of a hit and run. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is used when an injured driver or passenger is in an accident and suffers from severe injuries, but the at-fault driver has lower limits of liability coverage that are insufficient to fully compensate the injured party for their injuries. For example, if you get into an accident with someone who has minimum liability limits, which are $25,000 in Alabama, and your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering far exceed that, you can rely on your UIM coverage to make up the difference. Luckily, in Alabama, insurance companies have to offer you UM/UIM coverage. The only way you won’t receive it is if you sign a waiver that states you don’t want it. The reality is UM/ UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive, but the insurance company doesn’t want you to know this. The reason being is studies show that higher risk drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. The insurance company would rather you waive UM/UIM coverage or only purchase minimum UM/UIM coverage because this saves them money when paying out claims.

I see this quite often. Recently, I received a call from a gentleman who was involved in a motorcycle accident with an uninsured driver. This man had to go through multiple surgeries and ended up losing his leg in the process. However, he had waived his UM coverage with his insurance company, who hadn’t informed him of how beneficial this type of insurance was. If he had UM insurance, he would have had the protection he needed to help cover his medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. I wanted to write about UM/UIM insurance this month in light of National Insurance Awareness Day. I want to educate people, my clients, and the general public on just how important UM/ UIM coverage is and how much it can help. There are many people who don’t think or know about UM/UIM insurance coverage until they’re injured in an accident, which sometimes can be

too late. Being prepared beforehand creates a safety net if you’re ever involved in one of the aformentioned scenarios. By taking the steps now to protect yourself and your family, you’ll be far better off down the road. One of the services I offer is to look over the Declaration pages of people’s insurance policies. The Declaration page shows the coverages that the policy provides. Every insurance policy has a Declaration page, and I will review this page and explain which coverages you currently have and whether or not they offer sufficient protection for you and your family. I will also offer my advice on how to obtain the coverage you should have or want. I like to help people, and this free service is one way I can do that. The bottom line is that the more UM/UIM coverage you have, the more protection you and your family will have. If you’re interested, I encourage you to give my office a call. I’ll be more than happy to look over your Declaration page and advise you where I can.

REFERRALS WELCOME We thank you so much for referring clients to us over the years. We are grateful that you have trusted us with taking care of those who need our services. For any referrals, please contact us at (205) 327-8311 or fill out our online contact form at petrolawfirm.com.

-Mark Petro

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