Arizona Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
How do I make sure I have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?
Considering how confusing it can be to purchase insurance, this is an excellent question. We should start by getting rid of any discussion of “full coverage.” What is “full coverage?” It doesn’t exist. Or, a better way to look at it is that “full coverage” is something almost everyone thinks they have, but it means something different to everyone. Really, it means nothing to us as Arizona auto accident attorneys or trial lawyers, in general.
Instead, the question is whether you have purchased both uninsured AND underinsured motorist coverage, and have you purchased sufficient amounts. First, keep in mind that you want to purchase as much uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as you are allowed to under the law. What that means is that the amount of your liability coverage (the main policy most agents talk to you about) is the amount you want to purchase to protect yourself and your family. And that is a key statement: protect yourself and your family. The primary, liability coverage you purchase protects everyone else in the world that may be hurt if you are negligent. The coverage that protects you and your loved ones is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – those actually “kick in” to help should you ever become injured due to an underinsured or uninsured at-fault driver who did not have adequate insurance to pay for the injury you or your loved ones suffered.
Second, be careful when purchasing insurance on the phone or on-line. We are not against purchasing insurance in this manner, we do it ourselves. However, it is important to make sure that you have both uninsured and underinsured, and that you have these coverages to the full amount you have your liability coverage. We do not think it is a good idea to purchase a $100,000/$300,000 policy for liability – protecting everyone else – and then purchase a lesser amount of uninsured or underinsured coverage.
Third, the cost of this suggestion is usually not very high in comparison to the other coverage. The cost of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is usually just a small fraction of the cost of the main, liability policy. Be certain to price it out and make a decision that allows you to protect yourself.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer