What is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?
While uninsured and underinsured coverage is optional in Arizona, it is important to understand this section of auto insurance before removing it from your policy. Uninsured motorist coverage will generally cover you in the event of a hit and run or if you are involved in an accident where the at-fault party does not have any insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage will usually cover you if you are involved in an accident where the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries. Both of these coverages are solely to cover bodily injury, which is why good health insurance could be a reason to save some money and forgo this coverage. The three important factors to consider include the number of uninsured and underinsured drivers, how often you travel with other people who may or may not have good health coverage, and how your health insurance process works.
Are there really that many people uninsured?
All states have different required limits for liability insurance, but that doesn’t mean everyone complies. In 2012, the Insurance Information Institute researched the number of uninsured drivers and discovered that in Arizona approximately 10.6% of drivers do not have auto insurance. Of the entire United States, they predict that 1 in 8 vehicles on the road is uninsured. Our neighboring states also don’t have great percentages with California at 14.7% of uninsured drivers and New Mexico ranks as the fourth worst state with 21.6% uninsured. While it would be great to assume that every accident you are going to have will not be your fault, it is also just an assumption that whoever hit you has adequate insurance coverage. Given these statistics, it’s easy to see that at some point in time you will probably encounter an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Who does this insurance cover?
Another great asset of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, is that it with most insurance policies it doesn’t only cover the driver or only the people listed on your policy. This coverage also tends to cover anyone who is occupying your insured vehicle at the time of the accident. For this reason, it may not be wise to remove this coverage. If you ever drive around friends, extended family, or your kids friends, then this coverage would benefit them as well.
What about health insurance?
Finally, you must think about how your health insurance coverage works. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Can I go to any hospital? Does it cover an ambulance trip? How high is my deductible? There are plenty more questions along those lines, and it’s important to really look at your health insurance coverages and exclusions to decide if that’s the way that you want to go.
Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy in Arizona. Make sure you consider all items listed here, and also look into the coverages on your current policy, before you remove any coverage. If you want to discuss this question further, feel free to call our office at 480-513-3131.