In our last couple videos, we have pointed out that every auto policy in the state of Missouri must have state minimum limits and why it’s not a wise decision to carry limits that low. Additionally, we’ve explained uninsured motorist coverage is required, as well as how it reacts if you’re injured in a hit and run or by an uninsured driver. But what happens if you are hit by a driver that has state minimum liability (or even higher limits) and those limits aren’t enough to cover the incurred expenses from the resulting injuries?
Underinsured motorist coverage is the answer!
This is designed to provide coverage for any excess bodily injury expenses resulting from a car wreck the at fault driver’s policy doesn’t cover. Here at SBInsure, we recommend the limits for this coverage mirror the liability limits you carry if you were to injure someone else in an accident. If you carry auto liability limits of $100K/$300 or $250K/$500K, your underinsured motorist limits should be the same.
Let’s use the following hypothetical scenario below to show how underinsured motorist works:
Driver 1: Liability limits – $25,000/$50,000; Uninsured Motorist – $25,000/$50,000; No Underinsured
Driver 2: Liability limits – $250,000/$500,000 Uninsured Motorist – $250,000/$500,000; Underinsured Motorist – $250,000/$500,000
Scenario: It is Friday morning and Mat is driving to work. He’s sending and receiving texts to his buddies and blasting his favorite song “Friday” by Rebecca Black on his radio. By the time Mat finally pulls his head out of his apps, he notices, all too late, that he is running a red light. He tried slamming on his brakes, but it is not enough to stop him before he crashes into Creig’s vehicle and injuring him in the process. Mat is found to be at fault and Creig incurred $100,000 in medical bills related to the accident.
- Mat’s policy limits are maxed out at $25,000. Leaving a gap of $75,000 that is not covered by the auto policy and exposing Mat to be personally responsible for these costs.
- Creig at this point, because Mat was the at-fault driver and his policy is maxed out, can file an underinsured motorist claim to cover the $75,000 in bodily injury expenses.
*This is a simple illustration to summarize the coverage and provide brief context.
Underinsured motorist is not a required coverage on an auto insurance policy; therefore, it may not be recommended to you, or added if you are shopping online. SBInsure makes sure it’s offered on our auto policies because it can serve to fill the gaps if you are injured in an accident and the other driver’s policy won’t cover all the costs related to your injuries.
Have any questions about your home & auto policies? Has it been a while since your last insurance check-up? Please reach out to us today or fill out the form below, SBInsure is here to serve you and your family!
*While the above scenario is a hypothetical situation, distracted driving does happen. It only takes a split second for a distracted driver to cause or be involved in an accident. Please do your part and drive responsibly.