What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage and Why Do I Need It?

I talked with my insurance agent today and she said I could save money on my auto insurance  if I reduced my uninsured motorist coverage to the minimum amount.  She said that in Tennessee everyone is required to have auto insurance so this coverage doesn’t do me much good.  Is she right?

Well, she is partially right, but the advice she gave you is wrong.  

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage protects you if the driver of another car causes a wreck and have no insurance coverage or does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for the harm they cause.   Tennessee does require every car to have liability insurance coverage, but the law is relatively weak in that you just have to have proof of liability insurance coverage if the police pull you over, usually for something else.  In states that are really serious about it, such as North Carolina, you have to have proof on insurance coverage to get a license plate for your car, and if the insurance expires the State is notified and the police come out and take the tags off your car.

Thus, in Tennessee,  15 to 20% of all drivers are uninsured and in some cities, like Memphis, the number is even higher.  It is easy to see that you are at risk for being hit by a negligent uninsured driver and therefore will have to rely on your uninsured motorist coverage to protect you from medical bills, loss of income, and other damages from the accident.

I always recommend to my clients that they purchase as much uninsured motorist coverage as they can purchase given their family income.  You cannot buy more uninsured motorist coverage than the amount of liability coverage you have on the vehicle. 

You will be surprised how little it costs to purchase more coverage.  As your agent to give you a quote for various levels of liability insurance and various levels of uninsured motorist coverage.  I think you will find that uninsured motorist coverage is very affordable.

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