Underinsured Motorist Claims in Long Beach, California
To operate a vehicle in the state of California, you need make sure that you have financial responsibility, also known as auto insurance. Not only are you required to have this insurance, but you also must carry proof of it at all times—that way, you can present it if a law enforcement officer ever requests it, if you are renewing your vehicle registration, or even if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident of any kind. Unfortunately, while that is the letter of the law, not every adheres to it. All too often, drivers get on the road without any auto insurance at all. According to the Insurance Research Council, 14 percent of all car accidents are caused by an uninsured driver. California is also has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation, with 15 percent of all drivers lacking proper financial responsibility.
So what are the most common reasons for not having insurance?
- Vehicle is not in operating condition;
- Insurance is unaffordable;
- Premiums are much too high; and
- Vehicle can operate but is not being used.
What happens when a driver is underinsured?
Uninsured drivers, however, are only part of the problem. There are also incidents where you can be involved in an accident with a driver who is insured, but just does not carry enough—this is known as an underinsured motorist. Luckily, if you have insurance in the state of California, you also most likely have what is known as uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage. This type of coverage is created to provide protection if you are ever involved in an accident with a driver who
is insured, but simply does not have enough insurance to cover the costs of the accident. In California, the only way to skip on UM/UIM coverage is to sign a form waiving the coverage; otherwise, it is a mandatory part of the policy.
While you are entitled to have the same UM/UIM coverage as the level of coverage you would receive if you were at-fault, the absolutely lowest it will go is $15,000 for each person and $30,000 for more than one person. So, say that you were injured in an accident and the other driver had the minimum insurance limits in California, which is $15,000 to one person, $30,000 to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage. If you had UIM coverage of $30,000 to one person, you could expect to receive $15,000 come from the at-fault driver's insurance company and that much from your own.
Long Beach Personal Injury Attorney
Having UIM coverage is crucial as it can be the only thing that protects you in the event of a car accident. If you were involved in an accident with an underinsured motorist, we highly encourage you to reach out and contact the Overett Group today. We know how complicated these situations can be and we are dedicated to helping you protect your rights in whichever way possible. Call today to learn more.