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Reader’s Question – UM

Blog reader question

I have medicare as my primary and united Health as my secondary. I am presently covered for bodily injury @$250,000/$500,000. My property damage liability is $50,000 and medical payments are $10,000. My comprehensive is $200 ded and collision is $500 deductible. Is it necessary for me to continue to keep my uninsured Motorist Insurance which is $250,000/500,000 ?

Our Answer – From Christopher Kazor, CIC and Charles L. Robson, CIC

Our agency philosophy is to retain as much property  risk as you can (select high deductibles) and purchase as much liability as you can afford.  I commend you for having high Liability, but I hope you have an umbrella. Your Bodily Injury (BI) is fine but I would see if your agent can provide $250,000 or at least $100,000 for Property damage. If you have an Umbrella then you will be fine with the $50,000 as the umbrella will pick up your next dollar. As for your question on Uninsured (and Under Insured) Motorist Coverage (UM) that is a bit more complicated.


First we must explain what this extremely important coverage does. UM will pay for “compensatory” damages (that is both economic and non economic damages ) that is inflected on you by an at fault driver who has no insurance or insurance limits lower than your compensatory damages. The coverage in standard ISO policy forms as primary in an owned auto – excess in any auto. It is important to cover you and your loved ones for at least what you cover the other person. But, here are some considerations. Your personal insurance coverage, medical as well as Long Term Care. Next consideration, who rides with you, friends other than resident relatives, family. Those who ride with you do they have their own coverage.


Two things to remember, 1. UM will pay for both economic and non economic damages such as pain suffering, embarrassment from scaring, dis-figuration and loss of consortium. In most state UM disputed are settled by arbitration not a jury. Arbitration generally removes a lot of emotion from an award. In 1988 we had an insured who was 78 years old and retired. He was in a NOT AT FAULT accident. Fortunately he sustained a three inch permanent scar that ran from behind his left ear to under his chin. The arbitrator rules based on his age the scar was not significate and nothing was awarded. So with this information you should be able to ascertain what will be best for you to do. One last note, you should always carry “some” UM for those who may be riding with you

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