It’s a question you will have to answer if you purchase automobile liability insurance in Louisiana. While the question may appear simple, many people, even sophisticated people, do not fully understand the purpose of uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage (or “UM”) is a form of insurance that can be purchased to protect you, your family, your passengers and/or your workers in the event they are injured in an automobile accident when the at-fault driver is uninsured. Your auto liability policy will not cover your bodily injuries, lost wages and other damages caused by the fault of another.
UM coverage also responds in the case of “underinsured drivers.” An underinsured driver is one who is in fault in an accident, but does not possess sufficient insurance to respond to the loss. Unfortunately, if you are in an accident in Louisiana, or anywhere really, there is an unhealthy chance that you will encounter an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
In 2014, the Insurance Research Council estimated that over one in eight Louisiana drivers are uninsured. When you consider that many “insured drivers” are insured only with “minimum limits” policies, the chance of you needing UM coverage increases dramatically. While you are not required to carry UM coverage under Louisiana law, UM may be your best option.
In deciding whether to purchase UM, one factor you may consider is whether you have other available forms of insurance such as health insurance or a disability policy. Nevertheless, those types of policies may not meet all of your needs. For instance, neither will address any pain and suffering you have experienced. A second factor is the cost. UM coverage is often not as expensive as you might expect and is generally much less expensive than liability coverage.
UM coverage will be provided by Louisiana law if it is not “waived.” Your carrier should ask if you choose to purchase UM. If you indicate that you don’t want UM, you will be provided with a Waiver. Should you decide to waive this coverage, at least you will now know what you have waived.
“In 2014, the Insurance Research Council estimated that over one in eight Louisiana drivers are uninsured.”