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What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage and How Do I Make a Claim?

Having automobile insurance in San Francisco is a wise idea and an important one that will protect you when you are hit and injured in a crash, or if you hit another party on the road. It is impossible to get in your car to go to work, run an errand, take your child to school, or go on a road trip, and know for certain if you will be in a Bay Area car accident.

Even the most experienced and cautious drivers can still find themselves the victim of a crash. In California, drivers are not required under the laws to carry liability insurance. If drivers do not want to purchase a liability insurance policy, then they can do any of the following:

  • Deposit $35,000 in cash to the DMV
  • Go through the process of obtaining a self-insurance certificat
  • Get a surety bond in the amount of $35,000 from a licensed business in California

When to Make a Claim with Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UMI)

If you talk to an insurance specialist or to car accident lawyers in Oakland, you will often hear them tell you to up the amount of insurance that you have. This protects you and your passengers should a crash take place and the individual that is responsible either doesn’t have their own insurance or has too little coverage. This is where Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UMI) coverage in California comes in.

There is a cost to adding this type of coverage to your insurance. However, if a devastating crash happens between you and an underinsured driver, the outcome could decimate your personal finances. In California, uninsured and underinsured coverage must have the following minimums:

      • $15,000 for death or injury to a single party
      • $30,000 for injuries or death to more than one party
      • $5,000 for property damages of another party

The reason many people choose to add this additional coverage is if a person does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for the costs of your damages, or if they are otherwise indigent, then you must sue them to get money. Chances are the individual will not have enough personal assets for you to recoup your costs.

This means you may end up having to pay out-of-pocket for your damages, such as medical care, property destruction, and more. Considering that approximately 15.2 percent of motorists in California do not have automobile insurance there is a good chance if you are hit, it could be by one of these drivers.

Keep in mind that in California, you can still drive legally with only a $15,000 policy for liability. In cases where a driver sustained severe injuries, such as brain damage, and the defendant drive had a $15,000 policy and is otherwise indigent, you often are forced to take the policy and that’s when UMI coverage becomes an essential next step. Attorneys often recommend drivers add UMI coverage to your own policy for this reason.

Being hit by an underinsured or uninsured motorist is frustrating, but if you have underinsured motorist insurance in California, then you are best positioned to handle the aftermath of your accident. You can file a claim with your insurance provider and if you have enough coverage, your costs should be taken care of.

Speak with an Oakland Car Accident Attorney Today

Having the right type of coverage and the appropriate amount is going to benefit you in the long run – especially if you aren’t a person of considerable personal wealth to take on a considerable financial hit. When examining the statistics, the average car accident settlement in the United States is anywhere between $14,000 to $28,000.

Yet, when a car accident is catastrophic, the damages could soar. To learn more about what to do after you were hit and injured in a San Francisco car accident, call the Oakland car accident attorneys at Bracamontes & Vlasak to schedule a free consultation at 415-835-6777.

auto accident lawyer in Oakland