There is no nationwide rule or law in place regarding auto liability insurance requirements. Each state has individual rules, regulations and “state minimum limits of liability” that a driver must have in place to take a vehicle on public roads. The exception to that rule is Virginia and New Hampshire – the only two states where auto insurance is not required.
The required minimum limits of liability vary by state and are often quite low. For instance, in the State of Illinois, you are in compliance with the law if you have liability insurance in the following minimum amounts: $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident, $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident and $20,000 for damage to property of another person.
Even with laws in place, one out of every eight drivers is uninsured. Those statistics are staggering!
The uninsured or underinsured driver
Consider the following scenario: you and your spouse – who is currently unemployed – get into a horrific car accident. The person at fault had minimal liability insurance as required by Illinois state law.
As a result of your spouse’s injuries, they are now permanently disabled, requiring you to retrofit your home for wheelchair access, and you will need to hire 24-hour care for them once they are released from the hospital.
The person responsible for the accident only had $25,000 in insurance coverage – not nearly enough to cover the expenses you will need to give your spouse the care they require. At this point, most people hire a personal injury attorney to go after the offender’s assets and future wages, but that process will be long, and you may not see any financial reimbursement for months, if not years. It’s wise to note that individuals with no or minimal auto insurance coverage probably do not have excessive assets.
The solution is being prepared and proactive
Most personal auto insurance policies offer “Uninsured/Underinsured” bodily injury coverage. It’s designed to cover you and the people in your car for medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering if you are in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance or whose insurance is inadequate. It will also cover you in the event of a “hit and run” accident.
That coverage, albeit very important, often isn’t enough to protect you in the case of a horrific accident such as the one outlined above.
“Excess Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist” coverage added to your Personal Umbrella Policy offers another layer of protection and, for a minimal cost, will give you great peace of mind.
How Excess Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist liability coverage works
Your Excess Uninsured/Underinsured coverage on your personal umbrella policy pays in EXCESS of the limits you have on your auto policy once those limits have been exhausted.
In the accident scenario above, the victims would recover the $25,000 from the at-fault driver, then utilize their underinsured/uninsured motorist liability coverage from their personal auto policy. If required, they would file a claim under their personal umbrella policy.
Do you need to purchase a first-time umbrella with an excess uninsured/underinsured liability endorsement or upgrade your current policy to better protect you and your loved ones? Reach out to the personal insurance team at The Horton Group by calling 800-383-8383 or stop by one of our convenient locations today.
Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.