Why is Uninsured Motorist/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage the Most Important Component of “Full Coverage” in Tennessee?
Whenever our attorneys meet with a new client that was involved a car wreck, we always ask them about their own insurance coverage.
The Tennessee state minimum automobile policy is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. That amount is woefully too low considering among other things how expensive the current cost of medical treatment is around the Nashville and greater middle Tennessee area. To illustrate this point – one CT scan can have a billed charge of over $10,000.00. Any additional care on top of ONE CT scan can easily exhaust a “minimum limits policy.” Now, just imagine if the at-fault individual does not have liability insurance to cover the loss which is often the case around Nashville.
The saving grace for many of our clients’ cases is their own automobile insurance policy, specifically the uninsured or underinsured portion of their policy. This coverage provides a safety net that allows the injured party to obtain compensation for their losses.
Do I need an umbrella policy in my auto insurance coverage?
Many insurance carriers in Tennessee have “umbrella policies” that are offered in addition to the “full coverage” automobile policy. These umbrella policies can also be added to existing homeowner policies. Umbrella policies are typically $1,000.00.00 and most insurers require that the underlying limits are at least $250,000 for automobiles and $300,000 for home before an umbrella policy is added. These policies are cheaper than you might think! Many umbrella policies are less than $200.00 for the entire year.
When you add an umbrella policy to your existing insurance portfolio, be sure to ask if
if the umbrella policy has the uninsured or underinsured endorsement in the policy. Often, the insurance agent will not add the endorsement. YOU must ask for it! The endorsements are often much cheaper than that of the already low cost of general liability umbrella policies.
What could happen if you are underinsured?
Suppose your family is driving to that summer vacation spot. You are driving eastbound on Interstate 40 and an uninsured driver crosses the centerline of I-40 and strikes your vehicle, causing serious injuries to all occupants. Under a normal scenario, your uninsured motorist policy would provide coverage up to the limits of the UM/UIM of your policy for the injured parties. One would think that the liability umbrella itself would provide coverage. The answer is NO! Without the UM/UIM endorsement on the umbrella policy, total coverage would be limited to the underlying policy that you have.
Failing to have the appropriate UM/UIM endorsements on your policy can severely limit your family’s financial recovery if you are ever in the unfortunate example above.
Most reasonable people do not cross the centerline of I-40 and cause catastrophic wrecks without liability insurance. However, in cases where they have, we have been able to help families to receive compensation and full payment of their medical expenses when they have an uninsured motorist provision on their policy, specifically the UM/UIM endorsements discussed above.
If you or a family member is dealing with an uninsured motorist situation we would like to talk to you about the different options that might be available to you. At Jeff Roberts & Associates, PLLC, we’ve spent nearly two decades collecting millions of dollars on behalf of the wrongfully injured. We are ready to do the same for you. Don’t hesitate to contact our office at or by filling out an online case evaluation form here. Meeting with a Nashville car accident lawyer from our team is completely free and confidential, so don’t wait! You can also give us a call at (615)425-4400