North Carolina requires that every owner/operator of a vehicle have auto insurance; however, that doesn’t always guarantee the protection that you think you have. First of all, just because the state mandates auto liability insurance doesn’t mean that every person on the road has insurance and second of all, having the minimum insurance requirements may not be enough protection when you need it the most. Find out how you can protect yourself from Uninsured motorist/Underinsured motorist drivers.
N.C. Minimum Limits of Liability
The North Carolina minimum limits of liability auto insurance are 30/60/25 which can be explained quite easily. The 30 represents $30,000 of Bodily Injury Coverage available for 1 person suffering injury, while 60 represents $60,000 of coverage available for TOTAL payout for all injured parties. Lastly, the 25 represents $25,000 towards total Property Damage Coverage available to pay for damaged cars or any other property damaged as a result of the accident.
Nobody likes to imagine being involved in an auto accident, but accidents happen all the time; therefore you need to have adequate insurance protection. Imagine that someone runs a red light and totals your car, injuring you and your passenger. Both you and your passenger are admitted into the hospital for several days to treat neck trauma, a broken leg, and severe back injuries for both. The medical bills alone for the hospital stay exceed $50,000 for each of you and your brand new car is a total loss with a value of $30,000.
The at-fault driver does indeed have N.C. auto liability insurance, but guess what? He only has the minimum limits of liability, which, as you will see, will be inadequate to cover you and your passenger’s total injuries, not to mention the property damage claim. The available coverage for you for injuries as a result of the at-fault driver is only $30,000 and the same goes for your passenger. Your hospital bills alone, before any treatment begins, are already significantly higher than what is available. Together, you and your passenger have to share the $60,000 aggregate limits of Bodily Injury Coverage and only $30,000 per person is available. Regarding the property damage claim, there is $25,000 available coverage to pay for your totaled car, yet your car is valued at $30,000. Now you can see where insurance fits in!
UM/UIM Insurance to the Rescue
Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is designed for this type of situation where the at-fault driver either has no insurance at all or has insurance limits that are inadequate to pay for the incurred injuries and damages, such as in the above scenario. Once the liability limits of the at-fault driver have been exhausted, then you would file a UM/UIM claim to pay for the remaining balance for injuries, incurred medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, up to the specified limits of that coverage. As for your passenger, he/she would file his/her injury claim with his own UM/UIM insurance carrier.
Discuss UM/UIM Insurance Today with Your N.C. Independent Insurance Agent
Your insurance protection may be enough, but what about all the other drivers on the road? If you have any questions regarding UM/UIM insurance protection or wish to review and increase your limits, feel free to contact us at 866-869-3335. We can evaluate your current UM/UIM limits to decide the amount of coverage protection that best suits YOU. Purchasing an umbrella policy that includes UIM coverage may also be recommended, depending on your situation. Adequate protection means peace of mind. Don’t wait. Call TODAY!