What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) and Do I Need It In Texas?

UM insurance claim form

 

What's Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that covers you in an accident where the other party doesn't have insurance. Additionally, this type of insurance covers you if the other driver doesn't have enough insurance to cover your damages. You can only use UM if the wreck is the other driver's fault. 

If you're in a wreck with another driver who doesn't have enough insurance to cover the cost of your medical and auto damage bills, you can stack your underinsured motorist policy on top of the other driver's policy to bring up the total insurance available to you. 

 

Specifically, What Counts As "Uninsured?"

Here's a nitty gritty description of what constitutes an uninsured vehicle under Texas law. A driver who does not have any of the following: 

  • Bodily injury liability insurance
  • Property damage liability insurance
  • Enough insurance to fully compensate another driver after an accident
  • Insurance exists but the negligent driver’s insurance company legally denied coverage
  • Insurance exists but the liable insurance company is unable to pay due for some reason

A vehicle may also be considered to be “uninsured” in cases where the at-fault owner or operator of the vehicle is unknown or cannot be determined. In such situations, it is possible to make a claim against one’s own uninsured motorist coverage in a hit-and-run accident, if the injured party has uninsured motorist coverage.

 

Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Texas?

This kind of insurance is not required by law in Texas. However, I highly recommend that every driver carries UM. In Texas, it's estimated that 25 percent of drivers aren't covered by insurance (yes, that's illegal! People do it anyway). If you're in a wreck with someone who doesn't have insurance and you aren't carrying UM, you're out of luck. 

If you have questions about a specific case, please don't hesitate to give me a call. I'm available at any hour at 817-294-1900, and it doesn't cost anything to ask questions or schedule a consultation. 

 

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas