Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage in New Orleans

Did you know that almost 14.8% of drivers in Louisiana are rolling the dice and driving uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute? That’s almost one in every seven drivers! In comparison, the national average for uninsured drivers is nearly one in eight. It pays to be prepared and protect yourself on the road.

Car accidents can happen at any moment, even when we take all necessary precautions. Unfortunately, not all drivers on the road prepare for such circumstances with the required insurance coverage. If you find yourself in a collision with an uninsured motorist in Louisiana, the claim process can be overwhelming. But don’t let it be.

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is a valuable component of car insurance that provides financial protection in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver. In New Orleans, UM coverage is a standard part of all motorist insurance policies, unless the policyholder declines it in writing.

Despite its importance, UM coverage is often overlooked or undervalued, even by savvy drivers. To ensure you’re protected against financial losses, take the time to verify whether UM coverage is included in your policy, or consider adding it if necessary.

It’s essential to understand the difference between uninsured and underinsured coverage. Uninsured refers to a motorist who lacks insurance coverage for their vehicle. In contrast, underinsured means a motorist has insurance coverage, but it’s not sufficient to cover the costs of an accident.

UM, coverage covers a range of expenses, including medical costs, funeral expenses, repairs, and other damages that may result from an accident with an uninsured driver. In Louisiana, insurance companies are required to provide UM coverage for bodily injury, with a minimum coverage limit of :

  • $15,000 for bodily injury or death to a single individual
  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death to multiple people
  • $25,000 for property damage

Who needs uninsured motorist coverage?

Who wouldn’t want financial protection in the unfortunate event of an accident? Exactly! Any car should consider getting one. The costs in accidents may be not only car repairs but also medical costs and property damages that can require compensation in the millions.

UM coverage is important as the Insurance Information Institute reported an all-time high of collisions with uninsured drivers in 2019, standing at 29.4 %, with Louisiana reporting 15%. With the increased risk of an accident with an uninsured motorist, it is therefore important to shield yourself from financial culpability that may be crippling.

Benefits of uninsured motorist coverage

If you are looking to add an extra layer of protection to your driving experience, then uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is essential for you. Here’s why:

  • Financial safeguard

Be covered in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. Receive compensation for medical expenses, repairs, and damages not covered by your insurance policy.

  • Pocket-friendly:

A small increase in insurance premium for a big peace of mind. The small cost is worth it, considering the financial losses you could face from an accident with an uninsured motorist.

Hit-and-run accidents can leave you in a tricky spot, but with UM coverage, you won’t have to worry about the cost of damages or medical expenses.

  • Passenger and property protection

UM coverage will cover medical costs and expenses related to bodily injury and death for you and your passengers. However, it does not cover pre-existing conditions.

  • Peace of mind

Drive with confidence knowing that you and your passengers are protected in case of an accident with an uninsured driver.

  • Protect personal assets

Avoid dipping into your assets to cover damages and expenses from an accident not covered by your insurance policy or UM coverage.

  • Compliance with state laws

Some states require UM coverage by law. Be in compliance and avoid potential fines and penalties.

Put simply, UM coverage is an added safety net for drivers. It guarantees compensation for damages and medical treatment and helps minimize financial losses. Get yourself covered today!

How to file an uninsured motorist coverage claim in Louisiana

Car Insurance Attorney

Most people are hesitant to file a UM coverage claim because they believe the insurer might terminate their policy or increase their rate. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as this is outlawed under Louisiana law. The following states would be apt in filing a UM coverage claim:

  1.  Report the accident to the police. Report the accident to the local police department and get a copy of the police report, as it will be critical in processing the claim with the insurance company.
  2.  Contact your insurance company. It is important to provide the insurance company with as much detail as possible and also avail the police report on the accident, as it will be used to process the claim. It also helps to provide witnesses, their names and relevant details.
  3.  Provide the insurance company with all necessary documentation that provides details about the car. It is important to also provide documentation on medical bills and hospital records in the case of bodily injury.
  4.  File the claim and negotiate a settlement. The insurer may require additional information on the accident. It would help to respond promptly and cooperate with the insurance company to process the claim smoothly. A successful claim will result in a settlement in either medical expenses, car repairs or other damages.
  5.  Seek legal counsel. A personal injury attorney will help you understand your rights in filing the claim and help negotiate a reasonable settlement. If dissatisfied with the settlement, an attorney would come in handy in filing an appeal.

In a nutshell, uninsured motorist coverage is an important form of car insurance that provides financial protection in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. With an ever-swelling number of uninsured motorists in New Orleans, buying uninsured motorists coverage will come in handy in providing much-needed peace of mind and potential financial encumbrances emanating from an accident.

Don’t let an accident with an uninsured motorist leave you helpless and financially burdened. Take control and explore your legal options by consulting with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Charbonnet Law Firm. Contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC online, or call our office at (504) 294-5094.

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