In Pennsylvania, insurance companies are required to offer the option to purchase uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM coverage) on all policies. In order to opt not to have the coverage the policyholder must sign a waiver acknowledging that they were offered the insurance coverage but are choosing not to purchase it.
UM coverage is insurance that protects you if you are injured by an uninsured driver or if you are involved in a hit and run accident. UIM coverage is insurance that protects you in the event that you are injured by another driver who does not have enough liability insurance to cover his or her total damages caused in a motor vehicle accident. UM and UIM insurance provides coverage to the insurance policyholder, drivers covered by the policy, household relatives, and passengers in the insured vehicle at the time of a motor vehicle accident.
In Pennsylvania, many drivers carry only the state required minimum liability coverage in the amount of $15,000 per person. This means that if a driver causes an accident and it results in injury to another party, the maximum amount the injured individual may receive from the at fault driver’s insurance company is $15,000. However, if the injured person’s damages exceed $15,000 then he or she can make a UIM claim under his or her policy to attempt to recover the excess damages.
Unfortunately, you cannot control the lack of or amount of liability insurance available from an at-fault driver to compensate you if you are in a motor vehicle accident. However, what you can control is the amount of UM and UIM coverage you carry. It is incredibly important that you elect UM and UIM on your automobile policy so that you and your family are fully protected in the event of a crash.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or an underinsured at-fault driver, contact a personal injury attorney at Metzger Wickersham today to see if we can assist.