How’s Your UM Coverage?

We have all heard horror stories about hit-and-run drivers or automobile accidents where the party at fault has no insurance.  In California, it has been estimated that as many as one in seven drivers on the road are uninsured, and as many as one in three are underinsured.  The odds of being involved in this type of accident are high, and there is only one thing worse than being away from your business for several weeks while you are laid up in a hospital — and that is not having enough insurance to cover the medical bills.

Many people will ask, “won’t my uninsured motorist policy cover me?”  Yes, but only up to the limits of coverage in your policy.  California law requires drivers to have both liability coverage and uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage, but the minimum mandated UM coverage is only $15,000 per person, and $30,000 per accident.  If you are among those who have opted for the minimum coverage required by law, you are running a risk:  if you get hit by an uninsured driver — especially if you are a pedestrian or cyclist — your medical bills could easily dwarf your low level of coverage.

In most cases, the cost of substantially increasing your UM coverage will be minimal.  One resident of Los Angeles recently increased his uninsured motorist coverage from the low six-figures to one million dollars of coverage, for just a few hundred dollars in increased premiums.  If you drive every day in Southern California, you owe it to your business (and your family) to look into increasing the policy limits of this very affordable form of insurance.  If that bad day ever comes when you need your UM insurance, you will be grateful that you did.