No one likes to think about being in a motor vehicle crash, but auto accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States. In Michigan, vehicle owners are required to purchase insurance to help cover the costs associated with injuries caused in crashes and to compensate injured people. Even so, the state minimum for bodily injury liability (payable by an at-fault driver or owner for the pain and suffering of an injured person) is only $20,000 – an amount that hasn’t changed since the early 70’s. Many Michigan drivers, over 20%, have no auto insurance at all.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage can provide compensation for noneconomic damages if an at-fault driver with minimal or no insurance causes you or your family serious injuries in a car crash. These coverages are not required by law, unlike personal injury protection benefits, so you may need to ask your insurance agent about what is offered. The premiums are generally very low, and the protection is a great value.
UM and UIM coverage is not without pitfalls. Some companies offer UM coverage but not UIM coverage, so if the at-fault driver has a minimum policy, you can’t make a claim under your UM coverage even if your UM policy limit is significantly higher. Many insurance carriers also hide set-offs and step-down provisions that reduce the amount of coverage you have.
UM and UIM coverage is an important and inexpensive way to protect yourself and your family. Ask the right questions and do some research to find the best policy for you.
Growing up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nolan Erickson began working at Church Wyble PC in 2007 as a law clerk. Now as an attorney, Mr. Erickson has developed extensive experience with all phases of trial and pre-trial resolution of personal injury matters, including major auto accident, medical malpractice, and other serious injury cases.