Liability (BIPD or bodily injury liability property damage) coverage is the one coverage required in the state of Texas. It protects the person you hit in an at-fault accident. This is the base coverage on any car insurance policy. Everything else is added to this coverage.
The next coverage is designed to answer the question, “What if the other driver hits you and it’s their fault?” There are two options how this could be handled;
- In most cases their insurance will pay for medical bills if you’re injured, repairs to your car unless it’s totaled, and a rental vehicle for the duration of the repairs or until your car is pronounced totaled.
- If they don’t have insurance, an optional coverage on your policy, uninsured / underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage would take care of this.
Uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage is the 2nd coverage of the 7 parts in an auto insurance policy. Like BIPD, there are two parts to UM/UIM coverage,
- There is the medical portion that provides for medical care to the driver as well as the passengers. This can be either split limits or combined single limits.
- There is also the property damage portion for your vehicle if it’s damaged or totaled.
Here are 3 things to remember about UM/UIM coverage,
- This is an optional coverage – if you don’t add it, it’s not there.
- It’s designed to protect you and your passengers medically if the person who hit you is determined to be at fault (this may require a witness verify you had a green light or the other person ran a red light, etc.). If they’re not at fault, then this coverage does not “kick in.”
- The person who hits you either has no insurance or does not have enough insurance (they have minimum coverage, but your surgery will cost $250,000 or you drive a Mercedes and their coverage barely covers a Taurus).
I recommend this coverage to all my clients for the following 3 reasons,
- The cost to carry this coverage is usually $10 to $15 a month.
- Texas has a higher than average number of people who drive without car insurance
- I recommend a client carry the same limits as they do on BIPD. You and your family are worth the amount of coverage you’d carry to take care of someone else.
Have you ever used your UM/UIM coverage? Share with us what happened in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. Have a question? Share that with us too and we’ll get you an answer.