Why Automobile Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is Money Well Spent

Posted March 14, 2024

  • Why Automobile Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is Money Well Spent

Even the most careful of Pennsylvania drivers can be seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another. Worse yet, far too many victims find the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver is woefully insufficient to fully compensate them for their injuries. The sad fact is Pennsylvania only requires drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage for injuries to a single person or $30,000 for injuries to multiple people. This amount is far too low to fully compensate those seriously injured. In such instance and, in lieu of accepting a settlement for the insurance policy, a victim can seek to obtain a judgment against the driver. However, the process to collect upon such judgment is long arduous and may be unsuccessful if the at-fault driver has no assets.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania allows drivers to purchase Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage on their automobile policies. Simply stated, where the insurance maintained by the at-fault driver is insufficient to fully compensate a victim for their injures, Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage provides an additional avenue of recovery.  As an example, a victim of an accident caused by an at-fault driver with only $15,000 in insurance coverage may, in lieu of seeking an excess judgment, accept the $15,000 insurance policy of the at-fault driver as a settlement. Then, if the victim had $500,000 combined single limit in Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, there would be another $500,000 available to seek further compensation for the victim’s injuries. While even good Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage may not be enough for full compensation, it at least provides victims with certainty in knowing there will be coverage available.

Moreover, Pennsylvania drivers also have the option to “stack” their Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage. What this means is that if, for example, you purchase $500,000 combined single limit Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage but have two cars on your policy, then your insurance limits are doubled (for the number of vehicles) to provide $1,000,000 in coverage. This affords even greater means of recovery in the event of an accident.

Despite the availability of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage, some drivers will undoubtedly elect to waive coverage or purchase the lowest limit available. While the desire to save money on policy premiums is tempting, Pennsylvania drivers should seriously consider raising their Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. The price of the premium increase may be well worth it in the event of an accident. While no one can control the insurance carried by other drivers, Uninsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage allows us to protect ourselves from those who carry minimum insurance. Ultimately, while we all hope to never be in an accident, if an accident does occur we all want to be fully compensated. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage can help achieve that goal.

The Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli & Tipton personal injury team and I are well equipped to represent victims seriously injured in Pennsylvania automobile accidents including Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist claims. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an accident and would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me.

About the Author

Robert Donchez, a partner with the firm, represents and seeks justice for victims in catastrophic injury and death cases involving automobiles, premises liability, product liability and medical malpractice. Rob is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Northampton County Bar Association, and the New Jersey Association for Justice.

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