Consumers purchase auto insurance to protect their property in the event of an accident. All states require that motorists assume some form of insurance coverage in the event they are liable for an accident. If a driver is hit by someone without insurance, he may be able to collect for damages to his vehicle under the uninsured motorist property damage provision of his insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist property damage is insurance coverage that’s designed to protect a driver’s vehicle in the event of a collision with an uninsured driver. Coverage limits vary depending on the driver's state as well as the replacement cost of the insured vehicle. The coverage pays for the repair or replacement of the damaged vehicle and/or damaged property. Damage caused by a hit and run driver is also covered.
Uninsured Motorist Liability
Another form of insurance coverage that works in conjunction with uninsured motorist property damage is uninsured motorist liability. The liability portion of an insurance policy does not pay for property damage but bodily injury. Uninsured motorist liability coverage pays for the injuries and medical expenses of the insured driver and any passengers if they are hit by a motorist without insurance. An insured may also collect under this coverage if he is struck as a pedestrian or on a bicycle by an uninsured driver.
Under-insured Motorist Coverage
Under-insured motorist coverage is a separate coverage that protects a driver if he is hit by someone that does not have enough auto insurance to pay for the resulting damages or medical expenses. This coverage is used if a person with minimum liability limits on his insurance policy hits a luxury vehicle that is very expensive to repair. The driver of the luxury vehicle can file a claim against his own under-insured motorist coverage to pay for repair costs when the negligent driver’s coverage limits have been reached.
In cases where uninsured motorist property damage coverage is unavailable or the insured did not include the coverage in his policy, it may be necessary for a driver to file a collision claim if he is struck by an uninsured driver. Collision coverage pays for damages to the insured vehicle regardless of who was at fault in an accident. Collision claims are subject to a deductible which is a portion of the repair costs the insured pays out of pocket.
Filing a Claim
An accident that causes bodily injury or property damage requires a driver to file a claim with his auto insurance company if the damage is significant. The insured must contact his agent or company’s claims department to notify them of the circumstances surrounding the incident and open a claim to pay for injuries and vehicle repairs. Insurance companies will want to know details, such as if there were any tickets issued, if a police report was filed and if the insured is seeking medical attention.
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