Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM and UIM) is a form of automobile insurance policy designed to protect responsible drivers from drivers who fail to maintain car insurance or do not have sufficient insurance to cover the damages they cause. The Texas Insurance Code requires all automobile insurance policies sold in the state carry minimal uninsured motorist coverage. The insured can reject coverage in writing, and coverage is not required to be offered on renewal policies.
Uninsured motorist coverage can prove vital in the event you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. These are suggestions from Dallas Car Accident Lawyers – The following is a list of five reasons you should increase your uninsured motorist coverage as soon as possible:
The number of uninsured motorists in Dallas, TX is on the rise
A study recently released by the Insurance Research Council reveals that nearly one in seven drivers is uninsured. The study further showed that the number of uninsured drivers in Texas is even higher than the nationwide total. Nearly 15% or one in five drivers on Texas roadways do not have car insurance. This means that the likelihood your uninsured motorist coverage may come into play is growing, making it more important that you obtain an uninsured motorist policy sufficient to cover all your possible damages.
The rate of uninsured motorists in Dallas, TX and surrounding areas may continue to climb
Researchers link the overall rate of uninsured drivers with the strength of the economy. As the economy started to collapse in 2008, the number of uninsured drivers began to significantly increase. With so many Americans losing their jobs, automobile insurance became unattainable for some. The Insurance Research Council demonstrated that for every percentage increase in the unemployment rate, the number of uninsured drivers increases by two-thirds of a percent. Though the economy has improved, it is still tenuous and the rate of unemployment high. Under such circumstances, it seems likely the number of uninsured drivers may continue to climb, making it crucial that you obtain sufficient coverage in the event of an accident.
The default UM/UIM coverage is not sufficient in Dallas, TX
The minimal limits for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as set by the Texas Motor Vehicle Responsibility Act, are $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident, and $15,000 for property damage. These figures are often insufficient to cover damages wrought in an accident with an uninsured motorist. A single accident could result in medical expenses far exceeding $40,000, and months of lost wages. Depending upon the circumstances of the accident and whether the other driver had any coverage, you may be left without adequate compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Increasing coverage in Texas is generally inexpensive
You can often increase your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for just a few dollars a month. This small sum can give you peace of mind that you will be covered in the event of an accident. If the tragic happens and you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you can rest assured your medical bills, lost wages, and the like will be handled.
The chance of collecting from an uninsured motorist in Dallas, TX is low
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage or your limits are too low to cover your damages, your only recourse is pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver. You must attempt to collect from the uninsured motorist’s personal assets. This option, however, involves costly litigation and has a very low likelihood of success. Someone who is willing to drive uninsured or underinsured is not likely to have assets from which you can recover. This makes it all the more important that you obtain a substantial uninsured motorist policy that will cover all your losses in the event of an accident.
Tate Law Offices, P.C., provides exemplary representation to all accident victims, including those injured in motor vehicle accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers. We see firsthand the difficulties drivers with insufficient uninsured motorists policies incur. It is our hope all drivers will consider increasing their coverage limits to avoid the cost and potential heartbreak of being insufficiently insured. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the Tate Law Offices can help maximize your recovery. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.