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In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that more drivers are letting their auto insurance lapse as the national economy continues to falter. With lay-offs reported weekly and jobless rates climbing, an increasing number of drivers cannot afford to pay their auto insurance premium. So how does this affect you?

In Michigan, it effects you big time. We’re a No-Fault insurance state. If you get hit, your insurance company covers your medical bills and lost wages. But, if that uninsured driver caused a severe or serious injury, your ability to seek money damages from the at fault driver is gone because he has no insurance and probably no money.

What if that uninsured driver injures you so badly, that you are never going to work again? Your company will pay for three years of lost wages, but then what? Without the additional insurance coverage of the at-fault driver, you and your family are stuck.

That’s why it’s more important now, than ever before, to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own car insurance policy.

Uninsured motorist coverage on your policy pays you when you are injured by an uninsured driver. It is coverage that you must ask your agent for. Simply saying, "I want full coverage’ doesn’t necessarily mean you will get uninsured coverage. A number of car insurance companies that are allowed to write insurance here in Michigan don’t even offer uninsured coverage! If you don’t have it, you and your family aren’t properly covered.

Underinsured coverage [different from uninsured coverage] comes into play when you or your family is injured by another driver who has decided to carry a bare-bones, minimum PL-PD policy which only has $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence in coverage. What if this driver hits you, but causes $200,000 worth of damage to you? If he only has $20,000 in insurance, and you have $200,000 in injuries, where does the other $180,000 come from?

Well, if you had underinsured motorist coverage, it would come from your own insurance company. You would collect $20,000 from the driver that injured you and then collect $180,000 from your insurance company because you were smart enough to purchase the underinsured coverage.

There is no better way to protect yourself and your family than by purchasing underinsured AND uninsured motorist coverage.

If you are unsure about what type of coverage you have or simply would like some advice on what companies offer this type of coverage, feel free to email me at the listed email and I can very quickly [and for no charge] review your auto insurance policy to make sure you and your family are covered.

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