Louisiana law requires drivers to maintain liability insurance on their vehicles. This requirement protects the public in the event of an accident. Complying with Louisiana’s insurance requirement is not cheap, as Louisiana has the fourth highest average insurance premiums in the country. Given the amount that drivers are already spending on insurance, they may be hesitant to add any additional coverage.
But, here are 3 reasons why it is worth the extra money to pay for uninsured or underinsured motorist/UM coverage.
3 Reasons to Add UM Coverage
1. You’re Injured By a Driver Who Does Not Have Insurance
Recent statistics show that approximately 13% of Louisiana drivers are uninsured. This means if you get in a car accident with one of these drivers, you will likely have little chance of getting compensated for your injuries. So, you will have to come out of pocket for any medical bills or lost wages you suffer because of your auto accident.
Having UM coverage protects you in this situation by making it as though the other driver did have insurance. And, because a UM claim is a “first party claim” (in other words, a claim against your own insurer), your UM carrier may be subject to a bad faith claim, which provides a strong incentive for them to pay your claim timely. This will also typically lead to them making a quick tender (or payment) of the undisputed portion of your claim.
2. You’re Injured By a Driver Who Does Not Have Enough Insurance
Making matters worse for Louisiana drivers, it is estimated that 40% of Louisiana drivers have only minimum coverage ($15,000 per claimant, $30,000 per occurrence for all claimants). So, if you get in a wreck with one of these drivers, there may not be enough insurance to cover your injuries. It becomes even more troubling when there are several people who are injured because they will all be trying to recover a portion of the negligent driver’s limited policy.
UM coverage avoids this problem by starting to pay for your injuries once the negligent driver’s insurance has been exhausted. For example, if the other driver has $15,000 in liability coverage and you have $100,000 in UM coverage, the other driver would pay the first $15,000 in damages and then your UM policy would pay any additional damages that you have suffered.
3. You’re Injured in a Hit and Run Accident
If you are in a hit and run accident (whether you are in a car, on a bike, or walking down the street), your UM policy will likely cover any damages that you suffer, even if you are never able to identify the other driver. This provides a critical layer of protection.
Call a New Orleans Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in an auto accident, don’t try to deal with the insurance company on your own. Let The Mahone Firm help you. Call (504) 564-7342 to discuss your case with an auto accident lawyer. There is no charge for a consultation.