When speaking with clients about insurance coverage after a car wreck,
we often hear: “I have full coverage.” When I ask what that
means, there is usually a long silence before hearing “I’m
really not sure.”
Do You Really Have “Full Coverage?”
“Full coverage” is not an actual type of automobile coverage
and the phrase is subject to much interpretation. Automobile insurance
policies may have liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive
coverage, medical payments coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage.
Most people know that liability coverage protects you for accidents that
are your fault. What people often overlook when purchasing automobile
insurance policies, is the coverage is only up to the limits you purchase.
That inexpensive premium that you purchased may not be protecting you against
claims and, likewise, may not help you out if someone else causes a wreck
that has either a minimum limits policy or no insurance coverage.
How Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
This is where underinsured/uninsured motorists coverage comes in play.
Often referred to as “UM” insurance coverage,
UM coverage protects you when the at-fault driver either has no coverage
at all (they are uninsured) or has insufficient coverage to compensate
you for your damages (they are underinsured).
What happens if you or a family member is involved in a horrible car accidents
and is faced with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical
bills, and the at fault driver only has the minimum liability limits in
Georgia, $25,000.00? Someone carrying minimum limits probably does not
have significant assets or money in the bank to pay your claim.
What’s the solution? UM coverage.
UM coverage would pay the additional damages up to the coverage. Therefore,
if your medical bills are $350,000 and you have $1M in UM coverage, you
will have the ability to collect for your injuries up to the policy limits.
UM Coverage Offers Protection with Little Added Cost
The best news, not only does UM coverage protect you from those with little
or no liability coverage, the additional premium for UM coverage is usually
significantly less than what you maintain for the same liability coverage.
What’s the lesson? Do not count on others to maintain adequate insurance
coverage. Protect yourself and load up on UM coverage.
Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. has a team of Atlanta
car accident attorneys with extensive experience representing those injured by another person's
negligence. If you need help after an accident, call us.
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