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On behalf of Mike Breen Oct. 22, 2017

A study, conducted by researchers at the Insurance Research Council (IRC) in 2014, found that at least 12 percent of all motorists were uninsured. If you happen to have been struck and seriously injured by one of these types of drivers, then you’re going to want to check the declarations page of your insurance policy to make sure you have either underinsured or uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

The reason you want to check and see if you have UIM in this case is because this type of coverage can be helpful in covering medical bills, lost wages and other expenses you have when you are hit and seriously injured. If that individual either completely lacks liability insurance or your bills exceed the limits of your personal injury protection (PIP) policy, then you can utilize your own UIM policy to make up the difference.

Although at least 20 states in the country require drivers to take out UIM coverage, Kentucky is not one of them. In states that don’t require UIM, having bodily injury coverage is still requirement, but that coverage only extends to cover a person you may hit, not yourself.

When someone strikes you, you’re ideally supposed to be able to file a bodily injury claim against them. However, if they don’t have insurance at all, then that’s where having UIM coverage yourself can be of great benefit to you.

Even in state like Kentucky, which is a no-fault one, where PIP coverage is required, you may still find having UIM coverage is helpful. That’s because, while PIP coverage will cover your own injuries whether the other driver had coverage or not, an injury that is serious enough may exceed your policy’s limits. UIM can cover the overage if this happens.

Additionally, if you have multiple cars covered under your name on the same policy, then you’re eligible to do what’s commonly referred to as “stacking.” This allows you to take the amount of coverage that is carried on each of your cars and multiply it. Living in a state like Kentucky, which allows residents to do this, may ensure that your expenses will be covered in the most severe of car crashes.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a wreck with someone that didn’t have insurance, then a Bowling Green car crash attorney can advise you of your many options for filing a claim for damages in your collision case.

Source: Nasdaq, “How to protect yourself against uninsured drivers, accessed Sep. 19, 2017