Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is an important yet often misunderstood
type of auto insurance. In Louisiana, you are not required to have UM
insurance, but there are many reasons to purchase this type of coverage
as part of your auto insurance policy.
Here, we’ve broken down some things you should know about uninsured
and underinsured motorist coverage in Louisiana, including the many benefits
of electing this type of coverage. Continue reading to learn more or
contact The Womac Law Firm directly to speak to one of our New Orleans
car accident attorneys about your case for free.
What Is UM/UIM Insurance?
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are often
lumped together, but they are actually two separate types of insurance.
UM insurance protects you in the event you are hit by a driver who does
any auto insurance, including Louisiana’s minimum liability insurance
requirements. It also protects you if you are unable to obtain the at-fault
driver’s insurance information for any reason, including when they
flee the scene of the accident (known as a “hit-and-run”).
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, on the other hand, is a type of insurance
that provides supplementary coverage if you are hit by someone who does not have
enough insurance to cover the total cost of your accident-related damages. This
is often the case when the at-fault driver only has the state’s
minimum liability insurance coverage, which is relatively low at just
$15,000/$30,000 in bodily injury coverage per person/accident and $25,000
in property damage per accident.
What Does UM/UIM Insurance Cover?
In Louisiana, UM/UIM insurance covers both economic and non-economic losses
you sustain due to a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver or party.
Depending on the specifics of your case, your UM/UIM insurance could cover
you for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care costs
- Lost wages/income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Note that Louisiana has two types of UM/UIM coverage: UM/UIM Bodily Injury
coverage and UM/UIM Property Damage coverage. If you only have UM/UIM
Bodily Injury coverage, you cannot recover for property damage, and vice versa.
It is also important to note that UM/UIM coverage does not only apply to
the driver; passengers and occupants of the vehicle are also covered under
Types of UM/UIM Insurance in Louisiana
There are several types of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
“Non-Economic” UM/UIM Coverage: This covers both economic and non-economic damages following a motor vehicle
accident for which another party is at fault. This means you can recover
compensation for financial losses and intangible losses, such as pain
Limited “Economic Only” UM/UIM Coverage: This type of UM/UIM insurance
only covers economic losses, meaning those with a specific dollar amount attached
to them. Examples of economic losses include medical bills and lost wages.
UM/UIM Property Damage Coverage: UM/UIM Property Damage insurance covers damages related to property damage
resulting from an accident, such as vehicle repairs. Standard UM/UIM insurance
typically only covers bodily injury-related damages.
Lowered Limits UM/UIM Coverage: While you cannot purchase more UM/UIM coverage than bodily injury (BI)
coverage in Louisiana, you
can elect to lower your UM/UIM limits, rather than match your BI coverage.
This results in lower premiums, but also means you have less coverage.
Considering the value of UM/UIM coverage, the cost of electing this type
of insurance is relatively low—typically only a few extra dollars
a month. In Louisiana, an alarming number of motorists are uninsured;
UM/UIM insurance can ultimately save you thousands of dollars after a
How to Add UM/UIM Insurance to Your Policy
Although UM/UIM insurance is not mandatory in Louisiana, your insurance provider
must offer this type of coverage as part of your overall auto insurance policy.
You likely already have UM/UIM coverage unless you specifically rejected
it when purchasing your insurance policy.
If you would like to review your auto insurance policy and/or add UM/UIM
coverage, contact your auto insurance provider. You can also reach out
to our attorneys at The Womac Law Firm. We can help you go over your current
auto insurance policy and provide our professional advice regarding the
best coverage for your particular needs.
Do You Need an Attorney to File a UM/UIM Claim?
If you are involved in a hit-and-run or are injured by an uninsured/underinsured
motorist, it is important that you contact an attorney who has experience
with UM/UIM claims. Even if you have this type of coverage already, filing
a claim and recovering compensation for your damages can be difficult.
Your insurance company may try to underpay your claim and offer a lowball
When you work with the team at The Womac Law Firm, you position yourself for
success. Our New Orleans uninsured motorist claims attorneys have extensive
experience handling UM and UIM claims in Louisiana. We know the law, and
we know how to fight for every dollar you deserve.
We are here to help you get back on your feet! Contact us online
or call our office at (504) 470-3935 to schedule a free consultation.