UNINSURED UNDERINSURED AUTO INSURANCE – MN LAWYERS
Understandably most people prefer to pay as little as possible for their auto insurance. Unfortunately, too often this means purchasing only the bare minimum of coverage required by law. However, buying the minimum amount of insurance coverage not only leaves your assets with little protection if you cause a car accident and seriously injure someone; it also leaves you and your family unprotected if you are the victims of a serious vehicle crash and the other driver is uninsured or doesn’t have enough coverage to fully compensate you.
When you buy automobile liability insurance coverage, it provides money for other people to recover (ie. when you are at fault for an accident). However, what many people often don’t know is that every automobile liability policy in MN also comes with Uninsured and Underinsured coverage. Uninsured and underinsured coverage provide benefits that cover you and your family members if you are the injured victims of a car accident caused by another driver. In Minnesota, the Uninsured motorist and Uninsured Motorist coverage for your vehicle is usually the same as your liability coverage on the vehicle. If you can buy more Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage, you should. It is inexpensive and can be very helpful if you are in an accident. Some insurers are now selling split limits, where the Uninsured/Underinsured coverage is less than the liability coverage. Don’t accept this offer. You won’t save much money, and if you purchase split limits, you are shortchanging yourself and your family.
No-Fault (PIP) coverage: If you own more than one vehicle, your insurance agent is required by Minnesota law to offer you the benefit of no-fault stacking. While the form on your agent’s application most likely allows you to check the appropriate box for “stacking,” few agents discuss it or recommend it. And yet, for a relatively small cost, it can provide considerable benefits to you and your family.
No-fault benefits will pay medical bills up to $20,000 and wage loss benefits up to $20,000 if you are injured in a car accident. However, if you own more than one vehicle and you opt to “stack” your no-fault coverage, you can multiply the amount of your no-fault benefits by the number of cars in your family. In other words, if your family owns 3 vehicles and you opt for “stacking,” you and your family now have $60,000 of medical benefits and $60,000 of wage loss benefits available if one of you is involved in a car crash. This can be very helpful if you have been seriously injured in a car accident and will be out of work for an extended time.
It’s hard to imagine that you could be in such a serious accident that you would need that much coverage. The good news is that serious accidents are infrequent enough that the cost of ample coverage can be reasonable compared to the protection you are getting. The bad news is that a “serious” accident doesn’t necessarily mean that someone dies or is paralyzed. For many people, being out of work for a couple of months because of surgery can be a serious problem. Many people today do not have adequate health insurance coverage or have high deductibles, and have little or no disability insurance if they cannot go to work.
We have many clients who have been in accidents that do not involve life-threatening injuries but who end up in difficult or less than ideal financial circumstances because they did not purchase enough car insurance including underinsured or uninsured auto coverage. Our lawyers always advise people that you at least look at the amount of automobile coverage you have and think about what coverage is appropriate for you. And of course, if you are ever injured in an accident, call us so that an experienced MN car accident attorney can discuss your insurance coverage and explain your rights to you. We are Minnesota personal injury lawyers and our attorneys have more than 25 years of experience successfully handling hundreds of auto accident injury cases.
We have big firm experience, but we are also able to provide small firm attention. An attorney can meet you at our offices in Minneapolis, Edina, Woodbury, and St. Louis Park. We also meet people at their homes in many surrounding cities including Chaska, Chanhassen, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Maple Grove, Brooklyn Center, St. Paul, and throughout MN.