Do I Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Many drivers in Nevada are operating their vehicles either uninsured or underinsured. When most drivers purchase insurance, they are thinking small and inexpensive policy limits without any thought for what kind of protection they need from uninsured or underinsured drivers. 

What is uninsured or underinsured coverage?
There are many decisions you must make when purchasing auto insurance. Whether to purchase comprehensive coverage, medical payments coverage or what should my limits be? One important area of coverage often overlooked is uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is available if you get involved in any accident with an uninsured or underinsured vehicle. A driver is underinsured if they do not have sufficient coverage to pay the damages caused by their accident. Let me give you an examploe of how underinsured motorist coverage works.

Assume you are hit by another driver who has the minimum liability coverage of $15,000.00. Also assume that your damages are $50,000.00. When the other driver's insurance carrier has paid their policy limits of $15,000.00, you can then submit a claim with your underinsured motorist carrier for the $35,000.00 difference. This coverage is available to make sure you are fully compensated for any accident that was not your fault.

If I submit a claim under my underinsured motorist coverage, will my rates go up?
Nevada law precludes your insurance carrier from raising your insurance rates or canceling you for submitting an underinsured/uninsured motorist claim. 

In Nevada, is my insurance carrier required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
Insurance carrriers providing auto insurance are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with the same limits as your liability coverage. If you do not want uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the insurance carrier will require that you reject the coverage in writing as party of the application process. 

Should I include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in my auto insurance policy?
Most insurance agents do a poor job of explaining the various coverages available with their auto coverage. It is difficult to understand why someone would purchase liability insurance but not uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. When drivers reject uninsured/underinsured coverage, what they are really saying is I want to comply with Nevada law and make sure I have coverage to protect the other driver but I do not care about protecting myself from other drivers who are uninsured or underinsured. In fact, protecting yourself justifies increasing your liability limits so you can also increase your uninsured/underinsured coverage. Along these lines, a carrier will not give you uninsured/underinsured coverage greater than your liability limits.

For more information on uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, contact the Henderson and Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Day & Nance. 


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