Not everyone is familiar with the term Uninsured/Underinsured coverage, but it is important to educate yourself on the topic. Uninsured coverage comes in handy when the unthinkable happens; you are hit by an uninsured driver. It is easy to think that everyone on the road follows the law and has purchased insurance coverage on their vehicle, but unfortunately, nearly 21% of New Mexico’s drivers are uninsured according to the Insurance Research Council. This percentage is nearly double the national average, which is estimated to be around 12.6%. With those statistics, our New Mexico car accident attorney advises how it may be worth the few extra dollars on your premium to save money in the long run.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In an auto accident where the at-fault driver is insured, their insurance company will be responsible for your property loss and personal injury claim. When the person at fault is uninsured, there is nothing to cover your loss unless you have uninsured coverage on your policy. Many people feel that it isn’t fair that someone without insurance gets away with zero financial responsibility when they are legally at fault for an accident.  You could sue the individual personally, but most attorneys will tell you that it is often a fruitless claim because those without insurance usually don’t have any cash or assets that could cover your loss. Without uninsured coverage, you may be left with no way of getting any compensation for your injuries or your vehicle if it is determined that the person at fault was uninsured.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Albuquerque car with front end smashed after accident in New Mexico

Underinsured coverage is separate and different from uninsured coverage. Underinsured coverage will help you if you are severely injured and it is determined that the person who hit you has a lower policy than yours. For example, the state minimum policy in New Mexico is 25,000.00 per person/ 50,000.00 per accident, which means this is the lowest policy amount someone may carry in the State of New Mexico. With that being said, let’s say you carry a 50,000.00 per person/ 100,000.00 per accident auto policy. That means if you were hit by someone with a state minimum policy and they are deemed at fault they are underinsured compared to you, and if needed and warranted an underinsured claim can be made on your policy.

Both coverages aim at assisting you when you are involved in an accident with someone who is not covered or is inadequately covered. Without these coverages, you may be stuck with no way of getting a bodily injury settlement or being able to repair or replace your vehicle.

How Can You Add Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage to Your Auto Policy?

  • Reach out to your auto insurance agent and let them know you want UM/UIM coverage added to your policy.
  • If you do not have an assigned agent, call the insurance company directly and ask to speak with someone in sales.
  • Discuss the cost of adding UM/UIM coverage to your policy. It is often only a few extra dollars.
  • Discuss Underinsured Motorist Coverage with your agent, and talk about what policy amount is right for you and your circumstances.
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