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A look at uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

It is a situation that can turn nightmarish for some drivers. They suffer a collision from an irresponsible driver, and then it turns out the at-fault driver does not even have liability coverage, leaving the innocent party with expenses they should not have to cover. This is why the state of California requires insurance companies to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. 

Uninsured/underinsured coverage comes in different varieties. It is crucial to understand what they are since one or more types of coverage may not cover a specific kind of damage stemming from an auto accident. The California Department of Insurance website breaks uninsured/underinsured coverage down into three basic types. 

Bodily injuries 

Drivers who do not want to be stuck with medical bills from an accident caused by an uninsured driver should have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This type of coverage handles medical expenses in the event an uninsured driver causes bodily harm to a driver and to passengers riding in the vehicle. This form of coverage has limits identical to ordinary liability coverage limits. 

Damage to property 

To take care of property damages inflicted by an uninsured motorist, California drivers should have an uninsured motorist property damage policy. In the event of a collision caused by an uninsured driver, a UMPD can pay for damages to the car. Sometimes this might not be necessary, as drivers who also possess collision coverage might not need to use UMPD depending on the circumstances. 

Underinsured coverage 

Sometimes a driver does suffer a collision from another driver who possesses liability coverage. The problem in some situations is that the insurance of the at-fault driver is not high enough to cover the damages. By having underinsured motorist coverage, a driver who suffered injury or property damage has a policy that can cover the outstanding costs.