Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
There is a form of insurance coverage, which is as or more important than the primary coverage discussed above. This other insurance is UM or Uninsured Motorist coverage. This is coverage to protect you. If someone causes an accident and they do not have insurance, they are called an uninsured motorist. Your Uninsured Motorist coverage steps in to provide payment for bodily injuries as if the other driver had such coverage. When this type of insurance is involved, you are on the other side of your own insurance company. In other words, your own insurance company will treat you like you are the other driver because you are making a claim against them.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
If the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, your UIM or Underinsured Motorist coverage comes into play. This is coverage to make up the difference between the amount of the other driver’s inadequate insurance and what your damages are actually valued at.
Both UM and UIM coverage are critical, because they provide you with protection should the other driver not have insurance at all or inadequate coverage to make you whole. In Iowa, you have to sign a statement specifically refusing this coverage if you do not want it. However, it is strongly recommended you consider having UM and UIM coverage limits as high as possible.
Med Pay Coverage
Another type of insurance is called Med Pay or Medical Payments coverage. This coverage is available regardless of fault. It pays medical bills up to whatever coverage limits you have. A lot of people have $5,000 in Medical Payments coverage. This means, if you do not have health insurance for instance, your medical providers from the accident can receive up $5,000 in reimbursement for their cost of care. Med Pay can be used for co-pays, deductibles, etc., so that you are not injured and also facing the wrath of medical creditors. A good personal injury attorney would always suggest the highest limits of medical payments coverage you can afford. It can really make a difference when you are dealing with an abundance of medical bills.
Another type of coverage is for car rental reimbursement. If you are in an accident and have downtime in which your vehicle is not available, your car rental coverage will provide a replacement vehicle for a certain number of days or up to a certain dollar amount. This is not unlimited as to how long you can use a rental car. You should make sure what the time/monetary limitation is. Often, the other driver’s insurance has car rental coverage as well. Get a clear answer from either your or the other driver’s insurance company as to the terms and limitations on car rental coverage.