Uninsured Motorist Coverage: What You Need To Know
Take out your wallet and pull out your insurance card. You will see a bunch of letters and numbers that may make no sense to you. What those letters and numbers reflect is the many types of car insurance you have. One of the most important types of coverage that a lot of people don’t think about is uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. That means exactly what it sounds like: sometimes people that cause collisions either do not have any insurance at all (uninsured) or simply not enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries and damages (underinsured). Most insurance companies provide these types of coverage so that you can have a remedy if you’re hit by someone who does not have enough insurance. You do have to keep in mind a few critical issues.
Make sure you report the collision and your personal injury claim to your own insurance company too. And you need to report it immediately. Most insurance policies have specific time provisions that you have to comply with or the insurance company will not honor your claim at all. It is vital that you report any collision and any injuries to your own insurance company (as well as the other driver’s insurance) as soon as possible. You also need to check and ensure that you have complied with every provision—do they want notice in writing? Do they need specific details? Do you have to give a statement? UM provisions in insurance policies vary but the one constant is notice. Tell them right away.
If you’ve reported the claim to your insurance company, also make sure you report it to the insurance company of any and all family members that live in the same residence as you do. You could potentially have access to their UM coverage as well.
If an insurer tells you that you do not have UM coverage and you feel this is incorrect, insist on the insurer providing you a signed “rejection” form. In Georgia, you have to formally reject UM coverage for it not to be provided to you. If you did not reject it, or the insurer did not give you the opportunity to either obtain UM coverage or reject it, you may be entitled to the coverage anyway.
UM law has changed dramatically over the last several years and lawyers on both sides of the “v” are still trying to change it. That’s why it’s important to have attorneys like Johnson & Alday on your side to leave no stone unturned.