With winter driving conditions as they are this year in the Spokane area, a lot of drivers are paying more attention to what their coverage’s are on their insurance policies. With the icy conditions, drivers are often not only worried about their own driving, but everyone driving around them as well.
At North Town Insurance, lately we have had a lot of people checking on their coverage’s, to make sure they have Uninsured/Underinsured liability coverage. When people inquire about the uninsured motorist coverage, a common question that is asked is: “If I already have collision coverage on my vehicle….why do I need to have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage as well?”
In answering this question, it is important for our clients to understand what each of these coverage are and how they work.
When your vehicle is damaged in an accident with another vehicle, collision insurance is an optional coverage that pays the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, minus your deductible…..regardless of who is at fault in the accident. If you lease or finance your vehicle, you will be required by your lender to purchase collision coverage, but if you own your vehicle outright, it is an optional coverage. Many drivers still opt to have this coverage in place, because if they did not have collision coverage, if they were at fault in an accident, they would not have coverage to repair or replace their vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Property Damage Coverage:
UMPD is liability coverage designed to pay for damage to your vehicle, in the event a driver who does not have insurance causes an accident that damages your vehicle. In addition to paying for damages to your vehicle, UMPD coverage may also cover damage to other personal property. Examples of this would be your house, your fence, or personal items inside a vehicle such as a laptop or cell phone.
In understanding that collision coverage comes into play no matter who is at fault, at first it would seem that it is a redundant coverage that is not necessary if you have collision coverage on a vehicle. But that is not the case.
Reasons to keep UMPD coverage if you have Collision coverage in place:
If you have multiple vehicles on your policy, you may have decided to only cover some of your vehicles with collision coverage. As a liability coverage, when you have UMPD in place, it applies to all vehicles on your policy (you can’t have UMPD on some vehicles on your policy, it would be required to be on all or none).
UMPD usually carries a $250 deductible, which is much lower than typical collision deductibles of $500 or $1000.
If you use your collision coverage for a UMPD claim, it will show up on your CLUE (insurance reports) as a “collision claim” and typically will require proof that the incident was not their fault. Or it may be rated as a “fault claim”.
UMPD covers more than just your vehicle, it also may cover personal property that is inside your vehicle.
Overall, although both UMPD and collision coverages are optional coverages, they are very important coverages that every driver should have in place in order to be properly protected in the event of an accident. Drive safe out there in these winter conditions!