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Michael Riley

AAA Washington Insurance Agency

Why Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

When we recommend uninsured motorist insurance to our members, a common response is, “Why should I buy coverage for someone else’s repair bills and medical expenses if they crash into me?”

This is a misconception, albeit an understandable one.

The truth about uninsured motorist coverage is that it’s all about protecting you and your loved ones — not the other driver — and it’s extremely important to have.

Why is uninsured motorist coverage essential?

Imagine that a driver runs a red light and crashes into your car, causing you significant injuries. If the other driver is well-insured, his or her liability coverage will pay out the money you need to get better, both physically and financially. But, what happens when the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured? Who pays?

Your personal liability insurance only covers damage and injuries you cause to others, so that won’t help. Your health insurance will cover your hospital bills, but these account for only a fraction of your total losses, which can include lost income, deductibles, lengthy rehabilitation and much more.

Without uninsured motorist coverage, filing a lawsuit against the other driver is your only recourse, but this can be an arduous process. You will need to pay all of your own expenses until the case is settled, which can take many months, and after all that, the uninsured driver may not have enough assets to pay for your losses anyway. They couldn’t afford — or chose not to purchase — insurance, after all.

Unfortunately, this type of scenario plays out all too often, and that’s why uninsured motorist coverage is vital. When an at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses, this coverage comes to your rescue. In the above scenario, uninsured motorist insurance would make your recovery process much less stressful: Instead of going through a lengthy lawsuit, you would almost immediately receive the money you and your family need while the insurance company handles the other driver’s lawyers.

Most important, you could focus on recovering and getting back to normal.

Michael Riley

Director of Sales at AAA Washington Insurance Agency, has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry and is a guest lecturer at Washington State University.

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