As a vehicle owner in Texas, you are required to purchase minimum liability coverage. However, as insurance providers, we are required to offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as well as mandatory liability insurance. It is up to you whether or not you will add this to your policy. Hopefully, after reading this information you will better understand the need for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
There are approximately fifteen million licensed drivers on Texas roads. Of those, about fourteen percent do not have any liability insurance. Every time you leave your driveway to share the road with fellow drivers, you stand the chance of having an encounter with someone who cannot pay for damage done to you or your vehicle in the event of an accident.
Let’s take a look at a short description of three main types of auto coverages you can choose from:
Liability is the insurance that pays for damage to the other driver and their vehicle or property when you are at fault. It does not cover anything on your vehicle.
Collision covers damage done to your vehicle when you are involved in a crash with another vehicle, an object such as a tree or post, or a single-car rollover. It does not cover any medical expenses.
Uninsured/Underinsured protects you and your vehicle from damage done by someone who has no insurance, or who doesn’t have sufficient coverage to pay for the damage incurred. It also covers hit and runs, or injuries to you if you are walking or biking when hit by an underinsured driver.
Harvey drove an old beater of a pick-up truck to work every day. He knew it wasn’t worth a whole lot, so he turned down any extra coverages offered beyond the essential liability insurance. One Friday evening, on his way home from the factory he worked for, Harvey stopped to grab some microwave dinners and soda at the local grocer. He hadn’t even left the parking lot when a cargo van barreled into the driver’s side of his cab. The van’s driver had gotten confused and floored the accelerator thinking it was the brake. Harvey suffered a broken hip and pelvis as well as a severe concussion. His hospital stays wracked up a bill exceeding $45,000. The driver of the van had the required minimum liability insurance, but that only covered $30,000 of the medical bills Harvey owed.
As you can see, even if you are involved in an accident with an insured driver, it does not ensure that your expenses will be covered. When you consider how quickly medical bills, loss of income, legal costs, and other expenses can build-up due to an accident, you can see how this type of coverage is a wise choice.