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Old 05-27-08, 12:57 PM
Old Enough to Know Better
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Originally Posted by zoste View Post
UM = "uninsured motorist coverage"
UIM = "underinsured motorist coverage"

The first (UM) provides bodily injury protection (pain and suffering coverage) if you are hurt by the negligence of a driver who has no insurance.

UIM provides coverage if your pain and suffering exceed the defendant's coverage. An example of UIM: Pennsylvania requires automobile insurance, but the mandatory minimum coverage is only $15,000. If your injuries are more serious, that might not be enough to fully compensate you. Let's say you are injured so severely that you miss six months from work...$15,000 would not come close to full compensation, so you can collect on your underinsured coverage.
This is pretty close to the details in OK. Other restrictions and limitations apply depending on how much liability insurance you carry. In the case of both the UM and UIM, if I also only carried the minimum coverage, my insurer only pays up to that amount; so it's the UIM (or 0 for the UM) + whatever my limits are = amount of coverage. If you carry fairly high limits you might get into decent coverage, but only if the crash is not your fault.

In my case a hard look at the policy details, limits and exemptions made sense to drop it. I am one of those guys that buys medical and disability insurance through my place of work. I buy the "Family Plan" type package so the rates are competitive.

So whether I fall off a ladder cleaning gutters or am involved in a crash that my auto insurance might cover (with or without a convoluted legal process) my family and I will be covered. So I decided my dollars spent for protection would give better value in an instrument that covered more of the things my family and I do, than the narrow classification of an at-fault UM/UIM up to the liability limits of my auto policy liability limits. I mean, the item looks cheap enough on your insurance bill, but that's because it doesn't pay out for all of the ways you may get hurt, and when it does it's only up to some relatively low limits.

I *sincerely* apologize for the thread hijack, but it came as a real shock to me to see what I was wasting on up to 4 vehicles for very limited coverage. That amount, plus not much more, covers my entire family for medical and long term disability and I'm covered no matter what I am doing.

Now, if your auto insurance is the only insurance you have for potential medical and disability coverage, by all means leave UM/UIM on; but you really need to evaluate your total risk and how you are managing that risk. My problem for many years is that I was *buying it all*.

(Struggling to get back on topic) If you're thinking about going "car-free" think about the protection you may still need as you venture out into the world. Many policies cover the driver (you) no matter what you drive, so if you drive a rental car or whatever that's a consideration.

Most importantly, go find an insurance agent you can trust and get the straight scoop for your zip code. I am not an Insurance Agent and I don't play one on the Internet so get professional help.
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