Monday, August 21, 2017

The Importance of Spending a Little Extra for Uninsured Motorist Coverage.

uninsured motorist coverage clearwater

Let me start by saying that I hate paying bills every moth just like you do; believe me, I get it. So bear with me for a minute while I justify the increase in your automobile insurance premium that you should make. I know that GEICO is already charging you 'an arm and a leg' because of that one time you rear-ended a Falcons fan at the Bucs game. But joking aside, when you choose your insurance, it's critical that you don’t skip out on Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM).

UM is an abbreviation for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Basically, it’s your safety net against another driver having no insurance or too little insurance. 

Let’s dive into a hypothetical real quick. Bob is driving down to the beach on Labor Day weekend. Bathing suit, shades, and sunblock; he’s about to relax like it’s going out of style. But just as he makes the last turn into the roundabout, Bob finds out just how confusing and dangerous that roundabout can be. Someone had too many PiƱa Coladas, and Bob ends up on a stretcher instead of a beach chair.

Now, hopefully that driver has insurance to cover Bob’s injuries. His car is totaled, his arm is broken, and there is a throbbing pain in his back that just won’t go away. Maybe that other driver has the bare minimum of coverage; or maybe they were illegally drivingwith no insurance coverage whatsoever. Bottom-line is, Bob is sitting in a hospital room with bills stacking up hoping the responsible party has enough coverage to cover his medical costs.

But what happens when the responsible party doesn’t have insurance to cover the bills? That’s where your UM coverage steps in. Unlike your Bodily Injury coverage, which covers the injuries you inflict on others, UM has your back…or in Bob’s case, his back surgery. When you’re not at fault and the other guy doesn’t have the funds, UMsteps in to pay out. That’s why, even if it costs a bit extra, you must make sure you have at least some UM coverage.

Now if this sounds like an automobile insurance commercial, I apologize. And to prove my sincerity for begging you to pump up your premium, let me tell you the rest of Bob’s story. 

Had Bob spent the extra cash and got a decent amount of UM coverage from his whole family, Bob would of left nothing to chance; he would be getting his treatment compensated no matter who crashes into him. But much to his dismay, when his bill comes, guess who refuses to pay?

Unfortunately, your own insurance company may try to avoid paying out on your UM claim. When this happens, you may feel like you have nowhere to turn. After all, this is the same company who hires a lawyer and pays the bills to defend you, when you injure someone else on the road; but instead of covering you as agreed, when you are the one suffering, they decide to pinch pennies. When faced with this type of situation, you may be in need of an attorney to hold them to their promise.

Insurance companies may try to argue that something you did invalidates your coverage. They may claim that certain treatments are unnecessary. But don’t be fooled, even your own insurance company places profits over people. Your premium payments don’t buy loyalty; they create a contract. The reality of our world is that parties breach contracts every day. In fact, sometimes it is in the best interest of a party to breach a contract, because the benefits outweigh the cost. This is known as an “efficient breach,” to legal academics, but I am sure anyone who has been on the wrong end of one would call it something else.

When you hire an attorney to enforce your rights on the contract, it forces the insurance company to recalculate their cost-benefit analysis. Let’s not forget, insurance is the business of risk management. You know they have a team of number-crunchers figuring out the odds of your behavior, so don’t be afraid to take the right steps to make sure they do the right thing.
  1. Get adequate UM coverage. You might have to forgo a luxury or two to get it, but when you need it, you won’t regret your decision.
  2. Document everything. Call the police, even if it’s a hit and run. Should the police never find the culprit, you will still be in good standing to tap into your UM coverage.
  3. Hire an attorney to make sure you get the full benefits you deserve. Don’t think that just because there is no defendant driver, there will be no litigation.

The attorneys at Dolman Law Group know how insurance companies operate. We have litigated first-party claims, third-party claims, and even bad faith claims. When you pay your premium with hard-earned cash, you make a contract that says the insurance company will pay if you get hurt. Make sure that these insurance companies hold up their end of the bargain. Don’t feel embarrassed or disloyal to a company that will break their promise to pay some stockholders. You can email me directly at Jack@Dolmanlaw.com or call our office at 727-222-6922 and speak with me or one of our attorneys today. Ffind out how we can get you, what you deserve.

-Jack Vasilaros, Esq.

727-222-6922