If you are a driver in New Jersey you are required by law to purchase automobile insurance. Unfortunately, in New Jersey and throughout the nation, there are many drivers operating their vehicles without this required insurance. Furthermore, some insurance policies that satisfy the law are so minimal that in effect they provide no benefit to others harmed by the owners of those cars and policies.
Because there are so many uninsured drivers and drivers with minimal car insurance it is imperative that you protect yourself when purchasing your own insurance. You protect yourself through the purchase of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) on your own automobile insurance policy. The importance of this coverage cannot be overstated. This is the coverage that protects you and your family if you are injured in a car accident through the negligence of somebody else. If a negligent driver causes you harm and or damage and has no insurance at all then your Uninsured motorist coverage will protect you. It also protects you when harmed by a hit and run or unknown driver. If a negligent driver causes you harm and or damage and has a minimal amount of insurance or not enough insurance to cover the extent of your damages then your Underinsured motorist coverage will protect you.
Most people understand the importance of liability coverage which is coverage that protects your assets if you harm somebody else through your negligent operation of your vehicle. But most do not appreciate that UM/UIM coverage may be even more important. When purchasing your motor vehicle insurance be sure to purchase the maximum amount of UM/UIM coverage that is offered; subject of course to what you can afford. Many people purchase high liability coverage and then try to save money by selecting lower UM/UIM coverage. Do not do this as you are only hurting yourself. Please speak with your insurance representative because in most, if not all instances, the money savings gained by choosing the lower UM/UIM limit is minimal.
For example, the total savings on your insurance policy premium between $25,000 in coverage and $100,000.00 or even more in UM/UIM coverage is less than $100.00 per year and sometimes substantially less then that. If you have questions call an attorney versed in this area of the law and they can help you.
Understanding the importance of UM/UIM coverage is imperative when purchasing insurance. If protecting you and your family is your goal then this portion of your insurance is in fact the most important. It protects all of you when you are harmed and suffer damages when the responsible party does not have adequate coverage to do so.