What does it mean to be underinsured or uninsured?

Pennsylvania has a very low rate of uninsured drivers in the United States. However, more populated areas like City of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have a high percentage of uninsured and underinsured drivers. In order to qualify as an insured driver in Pennsylvania, a person only needs $15,000 of coverage, typically not high enough to cover injuries sustained in an accident.

Underinsurance and uninsured coverage

To protect against drivers who are underinsured or uninsured, one needs underinsurance and uninsured coverage on her own insurance policy. Underinsured insurance applies where the at-fault driver did not have enough coverage to compensate for the injuries or damage caused. This happens when the at-fault driver is underinsured. Underinsurance coverage allows a person to claim against the negligent driver and to claim under her own policy for the amount of coverage she purchased. Extra underinsurance and uninsured coverage can help to protect one if she is in accident.

Uninsured insurance coverage applies where the negligent driver does not have any insurance. This happens in a hit and run where the driver is not located or a driver who did not have car insurance.

Pennsylvania law allows for rejection of uninsured motorist coverage by signing a rejection waiver. Also, a person who recovers under the statute for uninsured motorist coverage cannot also claim under underinsured motorist coverage for the same accident. Consulting with an attorney experienced in motorist insurance coverage and motor vehicle accidents can help one decide whether she needs uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.