Though it is hard to believe, there are some underinsured and uninsured drivers on the roads in 2019. If you are struck by an underinsured driver, you will be in a much better position if you have underinsured motorist insurance. Here’s everything you need to know about this important insurance coverage.
The Basics of Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Underinsured motorist insurance covers bodily injury and in some cases, property damage, resulting from an accident in which another driver or drivers are underinsured. Property damage is included in North Carolina underinsured motorist insurance coverage. Furthermore, this additional coverage is applicable to the vehicle owner, family members and an individual operating the automobile with the owner’s permission.
This form of insurance is sometimes written with a trigger for damages or limits. If there is a damages trigger, the coverage is applicable when the insured party’s damages exceed the limits of the at-fault party. If there is a limits trigger, the coverage is applicable when the other motorist’s limits of liability are less than the limits of the insured party.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance by the Numbers
Each state has unique rules pertaining to underinsured motorist insurance. The state of North Carolina has a bodily injury minimum liability of $30,000 per person. The state has a $60,000 minimum limit of liability per accident. The minimum limit of liability for property damage is $25,000.
Why so Many North Carolina Drivers are Adding Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Opt for this important auto insurance coverage and you won’t have to worry about a potential collision with an underinsured driver that leaves you on the hook for the cost of medical bills, vehicle repairs and other costs related to an accident. If you are victimized in a car accident and the negligent driver is underinsured, it may not be possible to hold him or her accountable for all related costs by filing a personal injury lawsuit, since he may be judgement proof. The aim is to recover financial compensation to cover all expenses that exceed those provided by the at-fault driver’s paltry insurance coverage. That’s where your own underinsured motorist coverage off of your own policy comes in to play.
Good drivers should not have to fear a potential collision with another driver who lacks sufficient auto insurance. Add underinsured motorist insurance to your policy and you will be able to take to the roads in full confidence, knowing a collision with an underinsured driver won’t put you in a financial hole or dramatically hike your auto insurance rates.
How to Tell if You Have This Important Insurance Coverage
If your North Carolina auto insurance policy limits are greater than the bare minimum, the policy likely includes underinsured motorist coverage. As an example, if your automobile liability insurance is in excess of the minimum of $30,000/$60,000, the policy will automatically include underinsured motorist coverage. If your automobile is limited to the minimum policy requirements, the insurance provider will not provide this additional coverage to protect against accidents with underinsured drivers.
Do Auto Insurance Premiums Increase After Tapping Into Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
For the most part, auto insurance premiums do not increase after filing an uninsured motorist claim. Insurance companies should not hike the monthly premium after an accident that is the fault of another driver. However, the mere act of filing a claim does have the potential to spike your monthly auto insurance premium in the future when altering or adding to the policy. Every insurance company relies on past claims as a factor when deciding whether premiums should increase or if insurance should even be offered.