You have good insurance coverage, what if the person that hits you doesn’t?
Maryland is a mandatory vehicle insurance state. Most of us are aware of that because we have registered cars in our home state. What you may not know, is that the Maryland minimum limits are low and insufficient in many cases. If you are hit by an underinsured driver (they are found to be at fault) with Maryland minimum limits, the maximum pay-out on their insurance would be:
- $30,000 for bodily injury, 1 person injured
- $60,000 for two or more people injured
- $15,000 property damage (other cars, structures, telephone poles, etc.)
So, what does that mean?
The bodily injury coverage pays for your medical expenses and lost income compensation. The coverage would also extend to other passengers in your car and injured passengers in the at-fault driver’s vehicle. Any injured parties would share a maximum of $60,000.
Here’s an example:
- Driver A is at-fault in a 2-car crash. Driver A has the minimum MD coverage limits.
- Driver B and his two passengers are all injured. Driver B’s car sustains damage.
The pay-out from Driver A’s insurance would be:
Driver B and his two passengers would share a total of $60,000 to cover ALL of their bodily injury claims (medical expenses, lost wages, etc.).
Driver B would receive a maximum of $15,000 to cover the damage to his car.
Medical treatment is expensive, $60,000 may not be enough to cover all of the medical bills associated with this claim. Any balance remaining after Driver A’s insurance pays the $60,000, would be eligible for payment under the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage on Driver B’s insurance. If Driver B’s UIM coverage is not sufficient to cover the balance, he would need to pay any remaining balance out of his pocket or sue Driver A for damages.
Driver B’s car was significantly damaged in the crash. Vehicle repairs and replacement costs are continually increasing, especially as cars become more technologically advanced. The $15,000 property damage limit may not be enough to cover the repairs to his vehicle. Again, Driver B’s UIM coverage would come into play to cover property damage expenses above the $15,000, up to Driver B’s UIM coverage limit.
How do you protect yourself from uninsured/underinsured motorist liability?
- Check with your insurance agent to review the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage limits on your personal auto policy. Increase them if necessary.
- Purchase an umbrella policy that includes UIM coverage. Most standard umbrella policies DO NOT automatically cover uninsured/underinsured motorist liability. Ask your agent, adding this additional coverage is reasonably priced and well worth the peace of mind.
Updating your UIM coverage is especially important if you have a teen driver. Teen drivers are statistically more likely to be in a car accident than experienced drivers. Many parents say: It’s not you that I’m worried about, it’s the other drivers on the road. Protect yourself and your family, give Terri Quingert a call at (410) 377-2111 or email Terri@Goldsborough.com for additional information.