California law requires that all motorists carry automobile liability insurance. However, this law often gives motorists a false sense of security, resulting in motorists declining to carry uninsured motorist coverage which could come back and haunt them when an accident occurs. Here are some reasons why it is important to carry uninsured motorist coverage:
Although motorists are required to carry automobile liability insurance, there are still those who do not. So, if you get into an accident with such a motorist and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, your only option is to sue the other motorist and go after his or her personal property, if there is any. Chances are if the other motorist could not afford to purchase liability insurance, he or she will not have any personal property for you to go after.
Further, limits for satisfying the requirements of carrying liability insurance is very minimal. A motorist meets this requirement by carrying $15,000 in coverage (under some exceptions, it may be as low as $10,000). This means that if you are injured in an accident, the insurance for the other motorist is limited to $15,000 which will not cover you if you are involved in a serious accident. Uninsured motorist coverage generally protects in cases of underinsured motorists as well as uninsured motorists. So, if you get into an accident with a negligent motorist who is carrying liability coverage amounts that are less than your policy limits and the other motorist’s policy limits are not enough to cover you for your losses, you can seek compensation through your uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage may also provide coverage if you or a family member, as a pedestrian, are struck by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Finally, uninsured motorist coverage applies in cases of hit-and-run accidents. If you are involved in hit-and-run accident and have uninsured motorist coverage, by sure to report the accident immediately to your insurance company and to law enforcement personnel. Also, be sure to review your policy regarding the steps you need to take in such a scenario.
Uninsured motorist coverage is generally inexpensive, but its benefits can be invaluable. This article strictly talks about California law. Laws in other states may differ. This article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to serve as legal advice. You should always contact an attorney to discuss any legal matter.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, and want to get an honest assessment of your case and be educated as to your options, please give us a call.
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