Car Accident Lawyer
An Umbrella Insurance Policy, or excess policy, with a provision for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, is a moderately inexpensive layer of added financial protection that can shield you and your family from significant losses when damages incurred in an accident exceed the underlying insurance policy or policies. Not all umbrella policies contain uninsured/underinsured coverage. To avoid any misunderstandings, ask your insurance agent for a quote that does indeed include uninsured/underinsured protection within your umbrella policy. A car accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN respects, believes it is a prudent strategy to include an umbrella insurance policy into your financial planning road map.
Uninsured/Underinsured protection. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) estimates than 1 in every 8 drivers in the nation is operating a motor vehicle without automobile insurance. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), the ten states that topped the list of uninsured drivers in 2017 are:
- Florida (26.7%)
- Mississippi (23.7%)
- New Mexico (20.8%)
- Michigan (20.3%)
- Tennessee (20.0%)
- Alabama (18.4%)
- Washington (17.4%)
- Indiana (16.7%)
- Arkansas (16.6%)
- District of Columbia (15.6%)
In my law practice as a car accident lawyer, I can verify that the number of accidents where one or both drivers do not have an automobile policy in place is significant. So too, are there vast numbers of drivers who purchase the barest minimum policy required by the licensing state to drive legally. This minimal amount of protection is rarely enough accident coverage except in the most minor of accidents.
So, the question arises, how would an umbrella policy protect me against an uninsured or underinsured negligent driver? Although each case is different, I’ll illustrate how an umbrella policy may work by using a fairly common set of facts.
In at-fault states, the insurance policy of the negligent driver is the primary source to recompence the injured party(ies); meaning your car accident lawyer would initially pursue reparations for medical bills and other damages such as wage loss and pain and suffering through the automobile insurance policy of the insured at-fault insured driver. If the negligent driver is uninsured or does not carry enough insurance to wholly compensate you for your damages (underinsured), your own automobile policy would become the secondary source of insurance minus any set-offs from 1) the underinsured driver’s auto policy and/or 2) medical payments made by your insurance company. A set-off is an amount of compensation previously received.
Finally, if your injuries and other damages would exceed the limits of both the underinsured driver responsible for your damages as well as your own underinsured policy, your umbrella policy with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage would become the third possible source of compensation – again, minus the set-offs your car accident lawyer may have negotiated as well as any payments of your medical bills under your medical payment insurance policy.
Think of an uninsured/underinsured umbrella policy as a relatively inexpensive plan used to compensate you and your family in matters involving potentially serious or catastrophic injuries, permanent partial or full disabilities, disfigurement and wrongful death claims. This article written by a car accident lawyer will not answer all your questions. I would recommend you call an attorney, preferably one of the Auto Accident Lawyers Indianapolis, IN residents rely on who practices personal injury law on a daily basis, to learn more about how an umbrella policy may benefit you according to your state’s laws.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into car accidents and umbrella insurance policies.