Every owner of a motor vehicle in Minnesota is legally required to carry minimum insurance coverage. Despite this law, many Minnesota drivers, for whatever reason, do not insure their vehicles. In fact, according to 2009 Insurance Research Council Report, 13 percent of Minnesota drivers are “uninsured.” This means that if you are involved in an accident, there is a 1 in 7 chance that the other driver does not have insurance. Not very good odds, especially if you are seriously injured.
So how do you protect you and your family from these “uninsured” drivers?
Fortunately, the law requiring you to insure your motor vehicle, also requires “uninsured motorist” coverage to be a part of that policy. This is commonly referred to as “UM” coverage. The problem however, is that in Minnesota the minimum amount of “UM” coverage required by law is $25,000, and most insurance agents don’t explain why it is important for you to carry “UM” coverage much higher than the statutory minimum.
If you, or anyone in your vehicle, are injured by the negligence of an “uninsured” driver, you are entitled to collect from your insurance company (under your “UM” coverage), those damages which were caused by the uninsured driver, but for which they do not have insurance to pay. Your insurance company can then sue the uninsured driver to recoup their payout, if they think he or she has sufficient assets to pay.
We recommend that you increase your “UM” coverage to a minimum of $100,000. Drivers that fail to insure their vehicle frequently do so because of the high cost of auto coverage, often predicated upon their past driving conduct, such as speeding tickets, DUI’s, etc. Such irresponsible driving behavior often means those drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in a serious accident. If your injuries are significant, even a $100,000 will be insufficient to compensate you, but it is still better than the $25,000 minimum.
The common misconception is that we purchase “UM” coverage to protect “the other guy”, and therefore we have no incentive to pay for any coverage increase. We hope you see that purchasing higher limits of “UM” coverage is not to protect the other driver, but rather to protect you and your loved ones, from the irresponsible “uninsured” driver and the damage they often cause.
Given the frightening statistics regarding the number of “uninsured” drivers on the road, making sure you have sufficient uninsured motorist coverage is more important than ever. The attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury strongly recommend you speak with your insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage to protect your family if you are hit by an uninsured driver. As always, if you have been in an accident caused by the negligence of another, contact us today for a free consultation.