TLDR: While the commercials of many of the motor vehicle insurance companies are funny, it is not funny when you are injured and underinsured.
Here’s the deal: just because you have the minimum insurance required by law, does not mean that you have sufficient coverage to protect yourself in the event that you are in an accident. Over our many years representing people injured in motor vehicle collisions, we see that most of our clients do not have enough coverage to be compensated and therefore are “underinsured.” But how?
The law requires that motor vehicle owners purchase liability coverage. In Idaho the required minimum liability coverage amount is $25,000. This has been the amount for many years. The purpose of liability coverage is at least in part to protect the owner and some other person who the owner lets drive his/her vehicle, if the driver causes a collision and injures any other person who is injured in the collision.
The problem is that many vehicle owners and drivers have only the minimum liability coverage. Why is that a problem?
If the person who caused the collision only has the $25,000 minimum coverage, that amount often won’t provide compensation for damages to the injured person including medical bills, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss or partial loss of use of body parts, and pain and suffering.
So how can you protect yourself if you are injured by a minimum covered driver?
You can protect yourself by purchasing underinsured coverage in an amount much higher than the minimum amount. The more you purchase the more you will be compensated if you are injured.
While the commercials of many of the motor vehicle insurance companies are funny, it is not funny when you are underinsured and injured. Protect yourself now by making sure that you have coverage that will do its job. In the end if you get “cut rate insurance,” saving now can end up costing you a whole lot later.
If you have any questions about the role of underinsured motor vehicle coverage in being protected financially if you are in a collision, please call our office at 208-522-5200.