What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured (including underinsured) motorist coverage is a part of almost every automobile policy sold in the state of California.
Your uninsured motorist insurance coverage is created to compensate you financially for a loss which you sustain, and which is caused by a driver who is uninsured, or inadequately insured.
Your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you specifically decline it, and this is done in writing. Coverage is usually designated on the face page of your automobile insurance policy by the letters "UM", "UMBI" and UMPD.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage UMBI
When you buy uninsured motorist coverage as part of a policy, it affords coverage for you and all members of your family who reside in your household with you. It would also include any minor children of yours who do not reside with you or your children who are away at college.
You do not have to be the vehicle driver or passenger in order to be eligible for benefits. Your automobile UM policy applies even if you were a pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, or bystander, so long as the motorist who caused your injuries was uninsured or underinsured.
Your uninsured motorist insurance coverage also applies for the benefit of other passengers in your car or other people driving your car with your permission, and who are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Uninsured motorist vehicle coverage comes into play whenever anyone who is insured is injured by a driver who is identified as an uninsured or underinsured (does not have enough insurance to pay for the damages caused). An uninsured driver includes a hit-and-run driver, so long as there is some actual contact from the hit-and-run driver's vehicle. This coverage is an individually priced component of your overall policy. This coverage is NOT required by the state of California.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage UMPD
This coverage pays for cost of repairs to your vehicle subject to a limit of $3,500. UMPD coverage pays for the property damage to your car when there is a collision with an identified uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you have collision coverage, this coverage can pay the deductible that is associated with collision coverage. Your insurance company is required by law to include uninsured motorist coverage as part of every automobile policy written, unless you specifically decline it, in writing. This coverage is an individually priced component of your overall policy. This coverage is NOT required by the state of California.
Covers medical expenses to you and your passengers injured in an accident. There may also be coverage if as a pedestrian a vehicle injures you. It does NOT matter who is at fault.
Medical payments may also cover policyholders and their family members when they are injured while riding in someone else's car or when they are hit by a car while on foot or bicycling.
Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy. This coverage is an individually priced component of your overall policy. This coverage is NOT required by the state of California.
Understanding Comprehensive & Collision Coverage
The choice of whether or not to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage is a serious decision. If your vehicle is financed, then the lending institution will most likely require this coverage. However, if your vehicle is not financed then you have the option of whether or not to purchase this coverage.
Collision coverage pays for damage and or replacement of your covered vehicle in an accident regardless of who causes the accident. Collision Coverage applies if your vehicle is hit by another vehicle or if it hits other objects that cause damage to your vehicle. There are various deductible options to choose from for this coverage.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage or replacement of your covered vehicle resulting from a non-collision, such as vandalism, theft, or fire damage caused by animals, and glass breakage. There are various deductible options that you can select for this coverage.
Keep in mind that not every non-collision related loss is covered under Comprehensive. For instance, your damages are not covered if they are caused by wear and tear, freezing, mechanical breakdown or road damage to tires by potholes. Also, certain property such as CD's, cellular phones and other personal items are not covered.
If you have done any customization you do to your vehicle after it is purchased such as add rims and tires, a custom paint job, car stereo, etc., you should notify your insurance company of these modifications, or they may not be covered.
There are many factors that will affect the cost of coverage including, but not limited to: the value, type and performance of your car, the age of the drivers on the policy and their driving records and your zip code. This coverage is an individually priced component of your overall policy. This coverage is NOT required by the state of California.
Comprehensive and Collision coverage types require a deductible, so you're asked to choose a deductible. A deductible is the amount of damages you agree to pay for if an auto insurance claim is filed where comprehensive or collision coverage is activated. If you are financing your vehicle, your lending institution may impose a mandatory deductible amount, so you may want to consult your lending institution. With that said, a higher deductible can substantially lower the cost of insurance premiums. You should balance this savings against your ability to absorb a larger out-of-pocket expense.
For example, if you set your deductible at $1,000 and your car sustains damages totaling $1,500, you'll pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay $500.