Let’s face it: Traffic around Kenosha and Racine can be out of control. It seems no matter where you go — to the north: Milwaukee, to the south: Chicago — there’s line after line of cars, trucks, and semis.
As a result, it can be difficult to get through an entire year without at least a fender bender or two. Still, most of these minor accidents can be easily worked out by exchanging insurance information with the other driver(s). That’s what insurance is for.
But what if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
This is unfortunately the case with approximately 14% of American drivers today. They don’t have insurance at all. And if you get into an accident with one of these drivers, you’re left unprotected. That is, unless you have something called uninsured motorist coverage.
Who Needs Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Everyone in the state of Wisconsin needs uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM coverage. This is a broad term (sometimes also referred to as UM/UIM coverage). It covers a specific type of auto insurance meant to protect against uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) drivers.
A minimum amount of UM insurance is required in the state of Wisconsin. In fact, UM coverage is required in many states. In some states, UIM coverage is also required, but it is not required in Wisconsin.
What Does UM Coverage Actually Do?
Because there are so many drivers on the road without insurance, it’s important to protect yourself from them. They are putting you at risk because they don’t have the necessary liability insurance — another type of required insurance in most states.
Everyone needs bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance. It’s required because if you cause an accident with another vehicle, you are liable to pay for their damages. This includes personal injuries and damage to their vehicle.
If, however, you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, who’s going to pay?
In these cases, UM coverage pays (for personal injuries, not property damage). Check your auto insurance plan closely, and you should see that you already have UM coverage.
What you may not have is UIM coverage.
What Is UIM Coverage?
UIM stands for underinsured motorist.
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to UM coverage, but it protects against drivers who don’t have a lot of insurance. There are a large number of drivers on the road who don’t want to pay high premiums, so they only purchase and pay for the least necessary amount of auto insurance. Unfortunately, this isn’t very much.
If you get into a collision in Kenosha or Racine with someone who only has the bare minimum of auto insurance, it’s possible the funds you need to take care of your personal injuries will exceed their limits. In these situations, if you have UIM coverage, you can get coverage that extends beyond the other driver’s limits.
If UM Coverage Only Covers Personal Injuries, What Covers Property Damage?
Answer: UMPD coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
UMPD pays for damages if your vehicle collides with a driver who doesn’t have insurance. It is not mandatory (or even available) in all states. This is because these situations may also be covered by collision insurance.
In Wisconsin, for example, UMPD is not available. Collision coverage takes UMPD’s place. Simply remember that with collision coverage, you’ll have to respect the accompanying deductible.
When you have questions concerning UM, UIM, or UMPD coverage in Kenosha or Racine, contact BWO Insurance of Kenosha/Racine. Our knowledgeable agents can help you select or modify the ideal auto policy for your needs.