Thursday, February 18, 2010

Uninsured and Underinsured auto insurance is essential

Over the years, I have seen far too many cases where someone is injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

A few years ago, we represented a client who incurred over $80,000 in medical bills, and the responsible driver had only $25,000 in coverage....which is the required minimum amount of liability coverage in Montana. We did get the full amount, and we refused to sign a release to get it. Then we went to work negotitating the bill with the medical provider. Eventually, they accepted a compromise payment. Our client did manage to walk away not owing any medical bills, but that was all he got.

Now if that same driver had underinsured coverage, which they didn't, we could have done far better on the claim. Not only would we have still obtained the $25,000 on the claim, we would have filed a claim against the underinsured policy, and obtained a large amount from that. Then our client could have been compensated for their lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical costs, instead of just getting their medical bills paid.

Likewise, we are currently handling another claim where a client was hit by an uninsured driver. The driver has no assets worth going after. Thank goodness our client had uninsured motorist coverage available. Now we are presenting his claim to his own insurance carrier, and he will obtain a full, fair settlement.

I know times are tough, and people don't have money to waste right now. However, uninsured and underinsured coverage is relatively cheap. I have three vehicles on my policy, and I pay from $6 to $11 per car for six months of uninsured coverage (@$100,000 per accident), and from $10 to $25 per car for six months of underinsured coverage (also at $100,000 per accident). If I get hit by an uninsured driver, I'm covered. Are you?

Mike Grayson
The Grayson Law Firm

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