Imagine that you get into a severe car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The other driver is completely at fault, which means their auto insurance company should compensate you for your injuries and damage to your vehicle. Only the driver admits they don’t have insurance. How can you get the compensation you deserve?
With the right coverage on your own collision insurance, you can still get compensation for damages after a crash. Specifically, we’re talking about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or UM/UIM.
How UM/UIM coverage works
UM/UIM coverage is an addition to your regular auto insurance plan. It allows you to file a claim on your own policy after a collision with a driver who is at fault but is uninsured or whose liability limit is too low to cover your damages. Unlike many states, New Jersey does not require motorists to carry UM/UIM coverage, and it is not included in a basic policy. But insurance companies usually offer UM/UIM as an option on standard policies. State law requires that insurers cover at least $5,000 for this type of loss, but you can buy a higher limit if you choose.
Might I still have to fight my insurance company?
Drivers with UM/UIM coverage have the peace of mind that they can still file an insurance claim after an accident, even if the liable motorist is uninsured. Having said that, filing with your own insurance company won’t necessarily be easier than dealing with another insurer. Your auto insurance provider will likely search for excuses not to approve your claim or make a lowball settlement offer. Without knowing your legal options, you could be stuck paying some or all of your medical bills and auto repair costs yourself. Fortunately, legal assistance is available to fight this injustice.