Well first you must know what the definition is for each coverage and then you will be able to understand why they are important to your Scottsdale auto insurance policy.
An uninsured motorist is one who has no insurance, does not have insurance that meets the state-required minimum liability coverage or whose insurance company is insolvent, unwilling or unable to pay for the claim. A hit-and-run driver would also be considered an uninsured motorist because you don’t have the individual’s or insurance company’s information in order to make a claim. Uninsured motorist (UM) provides bodily injury liability coverage to policyholder and/or your passengers that are injured. UM coverage is optional in the state of Arizona but is highly recommended. Remember this coverage is to protect you and your passengers in case a third party causes injuries. There are many individuals out there driving every day without insurance so be sure to always protect you and your family.
An underinsured motorist (UIM) is one who doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover you or your passenger’s injuries but are still above the state-required minimum. In Arizona, the current state-required minimum is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence. Again, this coverage is very similar to UM coverage as far as what it covers and who it will cover. UIM covers you and your passengers for bodily injury liability. For example, a driver of a vehicle is at-fault and causes injury to yourself and you need medical attention due to a serious injury. The at-fault driver currently has the state minimum liability coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence. Your medical bills for a short stint at the hospital are $53,000. But luckily you have purchased UIM coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per occurrence. In this situation the other drivers policy will pay for a maximum of $15,000 of your injuries and your UIM coverage will then pick up the remaining balance of $38,000. This is a common situation that happens because of the high costs of hospital care and the low state-required minimums.
Now let’s review the main differences between UM and UIM coverage and the benefits that it provides you as a Scottsdale AZ automobile insurance client. Both UM and UIM coverage is to protect you and others in your vehicle for bodily injury liability damages that are a result from a negligent party. But UM coverage will only come into play, if you are hit by an individual with no insurance or below the state-required minimum. Also, a hit-and-run accident will result in liability protection through your UM coverage limits. UIM coverage on the other hand, is only for individual with above the state-required minimum liability limits but not enough to pay for your full medical costs. This coverage is still very important because most states have a low minimum requirement and medical are ever increasing.
Please advise your local insurance broker in Scottsdale, Arizona before declining UM and UIM coverage because you want to make sure you have the peace of mind in case a less responsible individual hits you or your family members.