Now that the Tennessee Legislature has rewritten the law in Tennessee increasing the penalty for driving without insurance, as well as including the possibility of an uninsured driver having their car towed until they prove they have insurance, is it really worth the added expense to have UM coverage in your policy?  Short answer – Yes!

I’ve got the top two reasons you need to make sure your policy includes it:

1) people don’t always follow the law and

2) legal limits for insurance in Tennessee are very low and your damages could far exceed them. 

Are you SURE you are protected in the event that someone else hits you?

Except for lawyers and persons in the insurance industry, most people do not understand “uninsured motorist coverage” (also called “UM” coverage).  In Tennessee, “UM” coverage applies both when you are hit by an “uninsured” or an “under-insured” motorist.  Let’s use a short example to demonstrate this.

Let’s say that your insurance policy includes $100,000 of UM coverage.  While driving to Nashville one day, you are hit by another driver and suffer injuries, medical bills and other damages that total $200,000.  If the other driver has no insurance, your own insurance policy would then kick in to cover up to $100,000 of your damages that were caused by the other driver.  If the other driver was under-insured, with say a minimum-limit policy of $25,000, your UM policy would then kick in to pay you up to an extra $75,000 on top of the $25,000 from the other driver for a total of $100,000.  If your UM policy limits had been $200,000 or more, it would have covered up to the full amount of your damages.

If you did not have adequate UM limits on your own policy and the above scenario occurred, you would be out of pocket the money while you went through the long and stressful, and sometimes unfruitful, attempt of trying to recover your bills from the other person.  This could involve putting liens on objects and other legal remedies, but this can take a long time and be hard to collect even when you have a judgement in your favor.

As you can see, it is very important not only to have UM coverage, but also to have enough UM coverage.  If you do not, you run the risk of not being protected in the event you are injured by someone without insurance , or without enough insurance, to cover your damages.