Imagine getting into a car accident that was not your fault and getting severely and permanently injured. Now imagine suing the person who caused the accident, only to discover that the person has a mere $15,000 in liability coverage. Is that $15,000 really going to compensate you for your injuries, pain and suffering, wage loss, and property damage? Or worse, imagine that person committed a hit and run, nowhere to be found. Who is going to pay you for your injuries and damages? That is where Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage steps in and saves the day. Yes, you should always elect the UM/UIM coverage option.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage pays you for your property damage or bodily injury if you are in a car accident caused by an uninsured motorist. For example, suppose a driver rear ends your vehicle and then takes off. Your car has damage and you suffer injuries. Who is going to pay for that when the person at fault is gone? Your uninsured motorist coverage will take care of that for you.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage pays you for property damage or bodily injury if you are in a car accident caused by someone who, although is insured, does not have enough liability coverage to pay you for your property damage or injuries. For example, supposed you have $100,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage and you are involved in a car accident caused by someone who has $15,000 in liability coverage. If your injuries and property damage cost $100,000, you will only be able to get $15,000 from the other driver. So where can you get the $85,000 for the rest of your damages? Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage takes care of that for you.
As you can see, while the UM/UIM election is optional, it really is something that everyone should choose, because these types of situations happen often and it is always better to make sure that your bases are covered. You never can anticipate what may happen and it is always better to be prepared.