What is underinsured motorist coverage in Arizona? How about uninsured motorist coverage? And why is it so important?
Defining Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist insurance provides protection for personal (bodily) injuries caused by a negligent driver in northern Arizona with no insurance, such as broken bones, lacerations, organ damage, head trauma, back or neck pain, and more.
Underinsured motorist coverage provides you with financial protection if the negligent driver has some, but not enough, liability insurance to pay for your injuries, including bodily injuries and pain and suffering, lost income, and more.
Arizona’s Minimum Car Insurance Coverage
The required coverages in Arizona are called “Bodily Injury” and “Property Damage.” Under Arizona personal injury law, the minimum required limits are as follows:
For bodily injury: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
For property damage: $10,000 per accident.
Practical tip from Griffen & Stevens Law Firm, PLLC: The minimum coverage, while cheaper to purchase, are never enough in serious motor vehicle accidents in northern Arizona. The results of minimum coverage in a serious injury accident in or around Flagstaff are devastating. It means that someone will not be able to pay their medical bills, or be compensated for pain and suffering, lost income, and other compensatory damages.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
So, for example, how can you keep yourself safe if a motorist negligently crashes into you and your medical bills are $100,000 or more? The answer is simple. You should invest – right now – in both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. And make sure to get the highest limits available to you. Hopefully you will never need to use it, but if you do, you will be grateful that you have it.
If you get hit by an uninsured motorist, and that person has insufficient cash or equity to pay your medical bills (the usual situation), and you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you simply won’t get compensated. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can receive money from your own insurance company! (And no, that does not cause your limits to go up, unless the accident is your fault.)
The other example is underinsured motorist coverage. What if a person with the Arizona minimum coverage negligently hits you while you’re on a bicycle, and your medical bills are $50,000? The driver’s policy limits will only allow you to recover $15,000, leaving you in $35,000 of medical debt (and no compensation for pain and suffering and lost income). But if you have underinsured coverage, say, up to $250,000, then you can recover $15,000 from the other driver’s insurance company, another $35,000 from your own (to cover medical or “special damages”), and potentially more money for pain and suffering. Would you rather be in $35,000 medical debt or be free and clear of debt with a lump sum of cash still in the bank?
As Flagstaff personal injury lawyers, we see the ill effects of minimum coverage every day. We strongly believe that investing in underinsured and uninsured coverage is a wise decision for you and your family.
The Advantage of Medical Payments Coverage
Under Arizona personal injury law, medical payments coverage, or “med pay” coverage, can be very helpful. Medical payments coverage provides coverage for necessary and reasonable medical and funeral expenses incurred as the result of an automobile accident up to the limit stated in the policy for you or passengers in your vehicle.
Free Personal Injury Consultations in Northern Arizona
We offer no-cost consultations to personal injury victims all across northern Arizona, including Flagstaff, Sedona, Verde Valley, Prescott, Williams, Winslow, Holbrook, Kingman, and all across the Navajo Nation and other reservation lands.